An exchange of emails today reveals that Kim Young-ha is back in Korea (Busan) and all over the internet. Following are three semi-related pieces of Kim Young-ha news.
• As I think most of us now know, Kim Young-ha became only the second Korean writer to ever be nominated for the Man Asia Literary Prize. Kim was nominated for his excellent book Black Flower, a piece of historical fiction. An article on that, which among other things notes that there were a record number of entries can be found here.
In our email conversation Kim is happy that he was nominated, but notes that the competition (he singles out Orhan Pamuk, from Turkey) is particularly stiff this year.
• Just as interesting, and noted by many sharp online eyes, is an article by Kim over at Words Without Borders called Marilyn Monroe and Lady Gaga’s Korea, and Korean Literature in which he introduces three Korean short stories. Worlds Without Borders says:
In our feature on New Writing from Korea, writer Kim Young-ha selects and introduces three dazzling works from Korea. Sim Sangdae observes fatal beauty and Yun Ko-eun follows a woman whose work drives her crazy. We thank the Korea Literature Translation Institute for their generous support of this special section on new Korean writing.
The third work is the previously available “Is That So? I’m a Giraffe” by Park Mingyu, to which the link is currently broken but intrepid internet searchers might also find it in New Writing from Korea (Korean Literature Translation Institute, Seoul: 2009) or in the Asia Literary Review.
Direct (working) links to the other stories are:
Beauty by Sim Sangdae
(Translated from Korean by Amber Hyun Jung Kim)
The Chef’s Nail by Yun Ko-eun
Translated from Korean by Charles La Shure (who also just translated Black Flower itself)
• For a different take on Kim Young-ha’s Black Flower, here is a dismissive review from Fuse Book Review, the arch and fey tone of which can probably be deduced from the ‘clever’ pun in the title, A Wilted “Black Flower” From Korea. The rest of the review stays up to that minimal standard.