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Her novels have been bestsellers in South Korea; “The Good Son,” her first to be translated into English, has sold over a million copies. Blood Sisters, the debut novel from celebrated poet Kim Yideum, tells the story of Jeong Yeoul, a college student coping with the aftermath of the violent suppression of student demonstrations in South Korea. New L.A. County ‘Safer at Home’ restrictions revealed as COVID-19 surge worsens. While Oghi watches, as helpless as the writer in Stephen King’s “Misery,” his mother-in-law digs increasingly larger holes in the garden. Former President Obama is already a bestselling author and also a prize-winning author. In the novel, Han Yu-jin is awakened by the smell of blood in his Seoul home, only to discover his mother has been murdered in the kitchen, her throat slit and her body carefully posed. “The Investigation,” his first to be published in English, was a Vanity Fair top mystery pick for 2015. There, a young guard, the literature-loving Watanabe Yuichi, is assigned to investigate the murder of a co-worker, a decorated war veteran whose brutality has earned him the nickname “The Butcher.” Yuichi finds a poem on the Butcher’s body written by an inmate, a fictionalized version of the celebrated poet Yun Dong-ju (who died in Fukuoka for his participation in the Korean resistance). Woods is a book critic, editor and author of several anthologies and crime novels. Bae Suah’s young narrator describes her empty existence as she travels through life, barely moved by the disintegrated state of her family and her own poverty and loneliness. In the midst of this undercurrent of unrest, Jeong Yeoul is trying to figure out who she is and who she wants to be—a thought provoking and powerful novel. The list of top Korean crime novelists published in English — some of whom I’ve read, others I can’t wait to read — is woefully short but sure to grow. Human Acts, by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith. Karen Powell’s “The River Within” is far more than a “Downton Abbey"-derived Yorkshire mystery; it’s the anatomy of a caste system that’s never gone away. Pope Francis is supporting demands for racial justice after the death of George Floyd and is blasting COVID skeptics and the media that spread their conspiracies. Obama to be honored by PEN America with Voice of Influence Award. “If you’re looking for a book that will make you gasp out loud, you’ve found it.” So says Kirkus and dozens of other publications and reviewers who can’t stop talking about Flowers of Mold, myself included. She writes about this tragedy in a series of unique and profound reflections “through the prism of the color white.” The White Book is a gorgeous and startling meditation on death and grief. Together these narratives form a fictionalized account of the South Korean Gwangju Uprising in 1980. The Hunger Games (Eng-Kor) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Eng-Kor) Animal Farm (Eng-Kor) The Great Gatsby (Eng-Kor) The Fourth Tree With Eleven Stories. Born in a rural county in South Korea’s South Jeolla province, Jeong was a nurse … Lee’s novels have sold millions of copies in South Korea, and some of them, most notably “Painter of the Wind,” have become successful television series. Julie Buxbaum’s “Admission” focuses not on the Felicity Huffman-like parent but her daughter, Chloe, and the way all children of privilege are raised. In her follow-up to The Vegetarian, Han drops readers into a mass of deteriorating corpses that came to a gruesome end: the student demonstrators of South Korea’s 1980 Gwangju Uprising. If you want more Kim Sagwa, pick up her newest release (also about young adults) B, Book, and Me translated by Sunhee Jeong. Nowhere to Be Found follows a nameless narrator’s search not for meaning, but for meaninglessness, in contemporary South Korea. Other Lee novels that blend murder and international politics include “The Boy Who Escaped Paradise,” about a young, North Korean defector with Asperger’s. Sagwa captures all that’s complicated about adolescence in Mina but goes further, portraying a disaffected generation cracking under the pressures of perfection and the drive for success in a time that could only be our own. I would pair reading it with another book on this list, Autobiography of Death by Kim Hyesoon and translated by Don Mee Choi, a poetry collection that also touches on issues of trauma and history. Han Kang has followed up her Booker Prize–winning novel The Vegetarian with some truly astonishing books, including Human Acts and the much-anticipated The White Book, her newest release. If you loved the critically acclaimed and astonishing film Parasite—directed by Bong Joon-ho, with a screenplay cowritten by Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won—and you’re looking for more great Korean artistry to scratch that itch, look no further than the incredible books in translation coming out of South Korea right now. “The Plotters,” Kim’s energetic 2019 English-language debut, starts out as a character study of Reseng, a 32-year-old Seoul hit man rescued as an infant from a garbage can by nuns, then adopted by an assassin known only as Old Raccoon and raised in a library/criminal headquarters called the Doghouse.
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