First, a review from the Gwangju Blog of Ko Un and his novel Hwaom-kyong (화엄경). The review discusses the historical background of the work, Ko Un’s history, the work’s style, and pretty much everything else except judging the piece critically. The book appears to only be in Korean, so use this review as a way to gauge your own interest in the book, before you dive into it in your (I assume) second language.^^
Second, an interesting event for anyone in New York. Don Mee Choi, poet and translator of Kim Hyesoon will be speaking on Monday, April 15th. The blurb included makes me think it’s about time to make a Wikipedia-page for Choi.^^
Don Mee Choi was born in S. Korea and came to the U.S. as a student in 1981. Her poems have appeared in The Asian Pacific American Journal, Hawaii Pacific Review, disorient journalzine, and Gargoyle. The Morning News is Exciting (Action Books, 2010) is her first book. She also translates contemporary Korean women poets; her most recent is All the Garbage of the World, Unite! by Kim Hyesoon (Action Books, 2011). She is a recipient of a 2012 Lucien Stryck Asian Translation Prize, a 2011 Whiting Writer’s Award, a Daesan Translation Grant, a Korea Literature Translation Institute Translation Grant, an American Literary Translators Association Travel Fellowship, and has served as poet-in-residence at the Henry Art Gallery. She holds a BFA and an MFA from the California Institute for the Arts and a PhD in Modern Korean Literature and Translation from Union Institute and University. She lives in Seattle, where she is an instructor in adult basic education at Renton Technical College.
Third, and a bit tardy, a Korea Times article discussing Kim Young-ha and Han Kang, and their efforts to promote Korean literature at a Mexican book fair last year. Of course LTI Korea is heavily involved in this effort, and as it includes at least four authors and a variety of events, it looks splendid, and probably a model for future international book events. Good work all around.
Finally, the Winter LIST Magazine (LTI Korea) is out, and as usual it is a treasure trove of information, ranging from a piece on PSY (that famous author!?!?!), through 27 reviews (non-fiction, fiction, and children’s fiction), and to an interview with Kim Seong-Kon, the CEO of LTI Korea. Completely worth checking out for the fan of Korean literature, or overseas publisher.