87 Contemporary Korean Novels Will Be Published in 22 Languages This Year | Be Korea-savvy

87 Contemporary Korean Novels Will Be Published in 22 Languages This Year

The window display of Kim Un-su's crime novel "The Plotters" at a British bookstore. (image: KL Management)

The window display of Kim Un-su’s crime novel “The Plotters” at a British bookstore. (image: KL Management)

SEOUL, Jan. 25 (Korea Bizwire) A total of 87 literary works by acclaimed South Korean authors ranging from Hwang Sok-yong to Han Kang will be issued in foreign publishing markets this year, according to a literary translation agency Friday.

The selected 87 novels will be translated into 22 languages and published overseas on a state sponsorship program, the Literature Translation Institute of Korea announced earlier this week.

The list includes four titles by Han, the winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize — “The White Book,” “The Vegetarian,” “Human Acts,” whose Korean titles is “There Comes a Boy,” and a collection of short stories titled “Fruits of My Woman.” They will be published in six countries, including France and Italy.

It includes four books by Hwang, including “Children of a Sandy Village,” which will be translated into Japanese.

One book from each of the two highly acclaimed late female authors, Park Wan-sue and Park Kyung-ree, will also be published in Russian.

Two of the young rising writers specializing in women’s issues, Cho Nam-ju and Choi Eun Yeong, will have their signature titles, “Kim Ji-young, Born 1982″ and “Shoko’s smile,” be translated into Vietnamese and Spanish, respectively.

Novelist Shin Kyung-sook’s most commercially successful title, “Please Look After Mom,” will be published in Azerbaijani, while her 2010 release “Li Chin” will be translated into Finnish, according to the institute.

Two of the most active male writers of today, Kim Young-ha and Chang Kang-myoung, will see their books, ” A Murderer’s Guide to Memorization,” and “Daetgeulbudae,” or “the (Internet) comments army” in English, be translated and published in multiple foreign countries, including the United States and Spain for the former and France and Taiwan for the latter.

This year will also see private efforts to launch contemporary Korean literature overseas.

“Korean literature has not only grown overseas in terms of quantity but also in quality, having been remade into movies and drama series and won multiple literary awards,” said Joseph Lee, the present of KL Management, a literary agent committed to the promotion of Korean literary works across the globe.

As part of such a continuing trend, Kim Un-su’s thriller “The Plotters” will hit bookshelves in the United States this month before debuting in Britain next month.

Renowned poet Jeong Ho-seung’s new release “Yeonin,” or “Lover” in English, will be released in Germany in March before making further debuts in Vietnam and Taiwan.

Popular mystery writer Jung Yoo-jung will also have her famous title “Seven Years of Night” in Germany in the near future before launching its English version in the first half of 2019.

As Korean literature gradually gained a presence outside of the country, several Korean literary works have also been picked up for adaptations into movies and dramas.

The copyright of Shin’s best-seller “Please Look After Mom” was sold to the U.S. last year for a dramatization. It was the first Korean novel to be made into a U.S. drama series.

Jung Se-rang’s fantasy comically depicting an exorcism at school, “School Nurse Ahn Eun-young,” is set to be produced into a Korean original series by Netflix this year.

Another of Shin’s titles, “I’ll Be Right There,” has also been sold for a movie rendition in a foreign country, but details of the deal have not been released yet.


3 thoughts on “87 Contemporary Korean Novels Will Be Published in 22 Languages This Year

  1. Barbara

    Hello! Since so many Korean novels are planned for publish in 2019, will any of them be released in Brazil?
    I will appreciate your feedback. Thank you!

    • Korea Bizwire

      Thank you for your interest in Korean literature. In the previous year, three Korean novels, along with one Korean classic piece, were translated in Portuguese, the primary and official language of Brazil. For the year 2019, we would expect more than that number of Korean literary pieces to be translated into the language, but we are not sure those will be marketed in Brazil.


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