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Korean Literature

Review: Ordinary Misfortunes – Emily Jungmin Yoon

Born in Busan, having grown up between South Korea and Canada, and currently residing in Chicago, Emily Jungmin Yoon is poetry editor for The Margins, the journal of the Asian American Writer’s Workshop. Her 2017 chapbook Ordinary Misfortunes won the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize and she published her first full length collection A Cruelty Special to Our Species in 2018. …

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Review: The Law of Lines by Hye-young Pyun

Award-winning Korean author Hye-young Pyun, a writer who excels at creating and controlling her tragic heroes like a puppet master does a marionette, is my favourite Korean author in translation. Her works The Hole and City of Ash and Red are masterpieces of genre fiction which both carved out new niches within the psychological horror …

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Review: Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-joo

Approaching a book like Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 is an enormous undertaking; something that should be done with real consideration. The novel has sold over a million copies in its native South Korea, has been adapted into a successful Korean film, and has been a huge spark for the fires of the #metoo movement in …

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Review: b, Book, and Me by Kim Sagwa

Coming-of-age novels, and stories of self-discovery, can take a variety of forms across myriad genres of fiction, but most are typically grounded in realism, following the rules of their world. b, Book, and Me is a story of a different sort, leaning on a fever dream surrealism that grows in intensity over time, and using …

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Review: Untold Night and Day by Bae Suah

Bae Suah is one of the great contemporary authors of South Korea. Author of A Greater Music, Nowhere to Be Found, and North Station (a personal favourite), she has burst onto the stage that is 2020 with a topsy-turvy surrealist tale that feels uncomfortably in-line with the narrative of the 21st Century. Untold Night and …

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7 Female East Asian Writers to Move your Heart and your Mind

In so many ways, the women of East Asian literature are the prominent voices of their cultures today. In Japan and Korea especially, those writers who have the greatest clarity of mind and creative spirits are insightful, fascinating, and imaginative women. Women who speak for the sidelined and the unrepresented, women who show us our …

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Top 10 UK Indie Publishing Houses

The landscape of indie publishing is so rich and diverse right now. Risk of failure might be high, but that hasn’t stopped so many courageous people fighting to forge, and make roaring successes of, some of the best publishing companies in the world right now – all with nothing but their own blood, sweat, and …

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Review: The Hole by Hye-young Pyun

Here is, perhaps, a new kind of frightening. We’re living in a new golden age of horror films right now, and, if Hye-young Pyun’s books are any indication, a parallel golden age of horror writing as well. The modern master of American horror, Stephen King, famously delineated three kinds of ‘scary’: Gross-out: something bloody or …

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