Curated reading lists from around the world
Jack Saebyok Jung on Korean Books in Translation
Korean culture is still obscure to many American readers, but the tide is changing. The sudden rise of K-pop, new Korean cinema, and the critical and commercial success of Korean literature (from Shin Kyung-sook’s Please Look After Mom and Deborah Smith’s translation of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, to Don Mee Choi’s translations of Kim Hye Soon’s dark, surreal, and politically conscious verses) have not only turned heads, but made many readers hungry for more stories from contemporary Korea.
For anyone interested in learning more about Korean literature and culture, knowing where to start can be daunting without a guide. The list that follows is what I would recommend to the curious.