Korean Modern Literature: Bio of Kim Sagwa

The Future of SilenceIn The Future of Silence (Great and reviewed at this link), Korean author Kim Sagwa is presented in English for the second time, the first time in an easily accessible format. I reached out to Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton for more information on Kim, and this is what they responded, which aligns with what I did know, but adds a lot to what I didn’t.^^

Kim Sagwa is one of South Korea’s most promising fiction writers. She was born in Seoul in 1984 and holds a BA in Creative Writing (2009) from the Korean National University of the Arts, where she studied under mentors such as Kim Youngha, arguably Korea’s most visible writer in English translation. By the time she graduated she had been honored with the 8th Creation and Criticism New Writers Award for her story “02,” received a grant from the Korean Culture and Arts Foundation (Seoul), and  published her first two novels, Mina (Mina, 2008) and P’ur i numnŭnda (The Grass Is Lying Down, 2009).

She has since published a book a year: the story collection 02 (2010), the young adult- novel Nabi ŭi ch’aek (Butterfly Book, 2011), the novel T’erŏ ŭi shi (City of Terror, 2012), the novel Ch’ŏnguk esŏ (In Heaven, 2013), and a book of travel essays, Sŏlt’ang ŭi mat (Taste of Sugar, 2014). These works have been shortlisted for several of the major South Korean literary awards: the Hwang Sunwŏn Prize (2011), the Munji Prize (2011), the Hanguk Daily Prize (2011 and 2012), the Young Writers Award (2012), and the Yi Hyosŏk Prize (2015).

In addition to her creative writing, Kim contributes columns to two Seoul dailies, has interviewed novelist Douglas Kennedy for Singles magazine (Korea), and co-translated into Korean John Freeman’s 2012 book How to Read a Novelist.

In recent years Kim has resided off and on in New York City, and in early 2016 she was issued a U.S. visa as an O-1 Alien of Extraordinary Ability in the Arts, granting her a three-year residency in the U.S.

She is represented in translation by:

  1. “It’s One of Those the-More-I’m-in-Motion-the-Weirder-It-Gets Days, and It’s Really Blowing My Mind,” in The Future Of Silence: Fiction By Korean Women, trans. Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton. Brookline, Mass.: Zephyr Press, 2016.
  2. “SF,” trans. Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton, Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature & Culture 7 (2014).

Mina. Fuveau, France: Decrescenzo, 2013.