On reading Han Kang’s White Book by the pool

In general, I tend not to read much literary fiction. If I’m reading stuff which is unrelated to Korea, it’s likely to be either non-fiction or easy reading – a detective story or something reasonably lightweight. When it comes to Korea-related reading, until relatively recently the balance has again been in favour of non-fiction. But […]

Book review: Bandi — The Accusation

Bandi: The Accusation – Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea Translated by Deborah Smith Serpents Tail 2017, 245 pp Originally published as 고발, Chogabje.com, 2014. Mike Breen, in his book The New Koreans, describes han as “a kind of rage and helplessness that is sublimated and lingers like an inactive resentment” and is often evidenced in […]

Event news: Deborah Smith on translating Bae Suah

Deborah Smith’s latest Bae Suah translation, Recitation, is now available in bookshops. This month you have the opportunity to hear some of the challenges of translating it, courtesy of SOAS’s Centre for Translation Studies: Close to a State of Linguistic Weightlessness: On Translating Bae Suah Dr Deborah Smith (Korean-English translator, Publisher/Editor at Tilted Axis Press) […]

Deborah Smith wins Literary Translation award.

Han Kang says she’s “amazing”. Deborah Levy says she’s “obviously a genius”. And now, congratulations to Deborah Smith for winning The Arts Foundation Literary Translation Award 2016. According to the TLS blog, the award comes with a £10,000 bursary which Deborah plans to use “to fund research into the Korean author Yi Chong-jun” (Your Paradise, […]

Book review: Han Kang — The Vegetarian

Han Kang: The Vegetarian Translated by Deborah Smith Portobello Books, 2015, 183pp Originally published as 채식주의자, Seoul 2007 Sometimes, reading translated Korean literature can be a bit of a private affair. You read it, you maybe enjoy it and appreciate it, but you think twice about recommending it to a non Koreaphile; or if you […]

KWK Talk: A Korean Literary Evening with Deborah Smith, 4 Aug

One of two discussions on aspects of contemporary Korean culture as part of Kingston Welcomes Korea – the other featuring Colette Balmain on the vengeful ghost in Korean movies. Deborah Smith’s translation credits include Han Kang’s The Vegetarian as well as Ahn Do-hyun’s fable mentioned below. The venue is New Malden Library – conveniently close […]

London Book Fair 2013 – an overview of the Korean publishing market and a brief meeting with Choe Yun and Jung Young-moon

London Book Fair 2014 will see Korea as the Market Focus Country. And in 2013 Korea was there to prepare the way. The Korea Publishers Association and the Literature Translation Institute of Korea jointly occupied a stall at the Earl’s Court exhibition, displaying among other things a wide range of translated Korean literature, including a […]