Five books by leading Korean writers published for the first time in English

News for release, 5th November 2014:   Dalkey Archive Press and the Literature Translation Institute of Korea celebrated the publication last night of five new novels in their Library of Korean Literature series when they welcomed Korean writer HAÏLJI to the Korean Cultural Centre, London to celebrate  his work and latest novel, The Republic of Užupis.

Haiji made his literary debut in 1990 with his novel To the Racetrack, a work that brought him both critical acclaim and notoriety for its controversial view of contemporary Korean society.   Many of his works have been adapted into films or plays and as such, Hailji is also an important contributor to the development of modern Korean cinema.

The launch is part of an ongoing collaboration between Dalkey Archive Press and the LTI Korea, in a project that will see the Library of Korean Literature provide the English speaking world with 25 titles over a three year period, in a joint project conceived by LTI Korea’s director, Kim Seong-Kon and Dalkey Archive Press CEO, John O’Brien.   Ranging from classic Korean masterpieces to contemporary works, the Library aims to bring the best Korean literature into publication in the English language.

John O’Brien, CEO, Dalkey Archive Press said: ” The Library of Korean Literature is a rare effort at ensuring works of high literary merit from Asia reach the public at a time only a few hundred literary works in translation are being published in the English-speaking world.  Even Arts Council England, which for years was leading the way in support of literary translation, has dropped almost all mention of translations in its current programmes.  The series launched when Korea was Market Focus at The London Book Fair in 2014, which helped dispel the myth that there was one singular ‘MASH’ kind of writing that characterized contemporary Korean literature.  The Market Focus and the British Council’s endeavours were a beginning rather than an end to bringing this literature to the West.

Helen Cho, Literature Translation of Korean, department of translation and publication, said:The publication of the Library of Korean Literature series is a noteworthy accomplishment since translated books make up only 2% of the entire U.S. market. The titles in the series draw from major works of Korean modern and contemporary literature. It is hoped that this series will serve as a channel for introducing diverse aspects of Korean literature to the English-speaking book market.”

The new titles being published are The Republic of Užupis by Hailji, Pavane for a Dead Princess by Park Min-gyu, The Square by Choi In-hun, Scenes from the Enlightenment by Kim Namcheon, and Another Man’s City by Ch’oe In-ho.







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