London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

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Selected publications

Book review: Kwon Yeo-sun – Lemon

Someone, somewhere, must have done a study of multi-person narratives in Korean fiction – novels which tell the same story (or different episodes involving the same characters) from two or more different perspectives. Two of the best-loved Korean novels in translation use the technique: Please Look After Mother and The Vegetarian. And this year, we’ve … [Read More]

August Literature Night: Seven Years of Darkness

The KCC’s Zoom literature night in August features the hottest thriller of the year. You can read LKL’s review of it here. The normal lottery-based system applies. Seven Years of Darkness by Jeong You-jeong Wednesday 26 August 2020, 7pm RSVP via the KCC’s website by 9 August. About the book A young girl is found … [Read More]

Mi-ae Seo: The Only Child

Seo Miae’s The Only Child is the latest thriller to come out of Korea, following on the heels of Jeong You-jeong’s Good Son and Kim Un-su’s The Plotters. Seo debuted in 1994 with the short story 30 Ways to Kill Your Husband and won the GrandPrize for Korean detective fiction with the Dolls Garden. She … [Read More]

Review: JM Lee – The Boy who Escaped Paradise

The Boy Who Escaped Paradise J.M. Lee, translated by Chi Young Kim Pegasus, 2016, 288pp Originally published as 천국의 소년, Seoul, 2013. A fifty-year-old North Korean is found shot to death in a flat in Queens, New York; beside him is a wounded man, the presumed killer. On the floor around the bodies are mysterious … [Read More]

Brief book review: The Plotters

Kim Un-su: The Plotters Translated by Sora Kim-Russell Fourth Estate, 2019, 304 pp Originally published as 설계자들, Seoul 2010 I always find when embarking on a new book it pays to have neutral expectations. That way you won’t be disappointed. But sometimes it’s hard to filter out your own personal prejudices and the word of … [Read More]

Book review: Kim Young-ha – Diary of a Murderer

Kim Young-ha: Diary of a Murderer and other stories Translated by Krys Lee Mariner Books, 2019, 200pp Originally published as 살인자의 기억법, Munhakdongne, 2013 Somewhat rashly, I approach Kim Young-ha’s novels with a keen sense of anticipation, particularly when translated by Krys Lee. Rashly, because with high expectations you usually set yourself up for a … [Read More]

Brief review: Jeong You-jeong – The Good Son

Jeong You-jeong: The Good Son Translated by Kim Chi-young Little, Brown Book Group, 2018, 322pp Originally published as 종의 기원, Eunhaengnamu, 2016 A Good Son is one of the books being hailed as the new Scandi Noir, while Amazon is billing it as “The bestselling Korean thriller of the year” – though in a Korean genre that … [Read More]