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Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

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Selected translations

Collections that include work by Sora Kim-Russell

Translations by Sora Kim-Russell available online

  • Kim Young-ha: The Suit tr Sora Kim-Russell, Words Without Borders 2014
  • Park Min-gyu: Castella tr Sora Kim-Russell, American Reader 2013

Review: Hwang Sok-yong – The Prisoner

How to review the autobiography of one of Korean’s leading novelists, who has won accclaim both sides of the border; who has spent five years in prison as well as being a person of interest to the authorities for much of his professional career? The memoir makes for fascinating reading as literary history: most of … [Read More]

Literature and poetry in translation titles for 2021: more than a dozen to look forward to!

This is now LKL’s fifth annual post that looks at the literature and fiction titles we’re looking forward to over the coming twelve months. Since last year we’ve made things easier for ourselves by investing some time building a book database that aims to catalogue all physical publications of Korean literature in translation, as well … [Read More]

A look back at our 2020 reading diary

Like many readers, we started the year with good intention of blitzing through the pile of new titles that were promised for the coming months, as well as making inroads into the backlog. And we genuinely got off to a good start with a string of fun K-thrillers, some of them new, some not: The … [Read More]

Review: City of Ash and Red

City of Ash and Red is a novel for 2020, even though it was originally published in 2010. Inspired no doubt in part by the SARS outbreak of 2002-3, Pyun Hye-young imagines a world where a virus has the potential to shut down whole countries, in which visitors are tested for infection on arrival at … [Read More]

Review: Pyun Hye-young – The Law of Lines

Life was much deeper than he could ever imagine. It was impossible to tell just how far you could sink1 Two apparent suicides in different parts of the country kick-start two separate story-lines which turn out to be interlinked. Se-oh is the daughter of one of the deceased – a man who had fallen into … [Read More]

Literary talk with translator Sora Kim-Russell

The KCC’s September literature night is a special event: a Zoom conversation with translator Sora Kim-Russell, focusing on her latest translation to make it into print here, Pyun Hye-young’s The Law of Lines (LKL review here). To make the conversation worthwhile, the KCC expects us all to have read the book in advance. It is … [Read More]

Where to start in Korean translated literature

Note: This article was written in early 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Since then, particularly in 2021, some fantastic translated fiction titles have appeared. We give a round-up of them here. Nevertheless, as of end December 2021 the top ten recommendations below still stand. I do, however, need to edit the choices for … [Read More]

Book review: Jeon Sungtae – Wolves

Jeon Sungtae: Wolves Translated by Sora Kim-Russell White Pine Press, 2017, 196pp Originally published as 늑대, Changbi Publishers, 2009 Jeon Sungtae’s Wolves takes us to another world – the world of Mongolia in the early years of this century, a decade after the adoption of capitalism. The country is modernising rapidly, but out on the … [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: Hwang Sok-yong – At Dusk

Hwang Sok-yong: At Dusk Translated by Sora Kim-Russell Scribe, 2018, 188pp Originally published as 해질 무렵, Munhakdongne, 2015 What a relief it is when a novel is both thought-provoking and a pleasure to read. Hwang Sok-yong’s At Dusk made me look forward to my daily commute (pretty much the only time I get to read). … [Read More]

Book Review: Pyun Hye-young — The Hole

Pyun Hye-young: The Hole Translated by Sora Kim-Russell Arcade Publishing, 2017, 208pp Originally published as 홀 by 문학과지성사, 2016 In the collection of short stories entitled Evening Proposal, Pyun Hye-young introduces us to a series of different very ordinary people trapped in humdrum lives, examining what happens when they are placed in unusual situations. Pyun … [Read More]