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International Praise for LTI Korea-Supported Works by Pyun Hye Young, Han Kang, Bae Suah, Including Book of the Year 2016
Date 2017-03-21 Writer 관리자 Hits 717
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<Ashes and Red named Poland’s Book of the Year 2016>

             Granice.pl, a Polish online literature community named Pyun Hye Young’s novel Ashes and Red, published in Poland with the translation and publication support grant from the Literature Translation Institute of Korea (LTI Korea, President: Kim Seong-Kon, professor Emeritus at Seoul National University), Book of the Year 2016 (Najlepsza książka roku 2016). The distinction goes out every year to one book in the adult and children’s categories, and 2016 marks the first year that a Korean novel was named for the adult book category. In the children’s category, Hwang Sun-mi’s The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly was named Book of the Year 2012. That the community names a Book of the Year from both local and translated international publications shows the significance of the distinction awarded Pyun’s novel.

▲ The Polish cover of Ashes and Red.

             The Book of the Year (Najlepsza książka roku) distinction is considered a reliable metric of a book’s success, as it is awarded based on votes from readers and input from prominent local media and literary magazines. Books are first nominated by online reader polls, and narrowed down to a shortlist of one book per release quarter. Then, one of the four nominees is awarded the distinction at the end of the year. Ashes and Red was voted the top book of the 2016 winter season, becoming shortlisted for Book of the Year 2016 (Najlepsza książka roku 2016). It was then evaluated by an external panel of judges composed of literary critics, who finally granted it the distinction. Judges commented that Ashes and Red was a work that “evokes the styles of Camus and Franz Kafka in their discussions of the unjust nature of human life”, and that Ashes and Red was “the most interesting book published in 2016”.

             Released by publishing house Kwiaty Orientu and translated personally by its founder Marzena Stefanska, the novel has also been shortlisted for the distinction of Translation of the Year, for which the results will be announced on April 8th.

             LTI Korea provided translation and publication support grants for the Polish edition of Ashes and Red, which was released in November of 2016. The publisher, Kwiaty Orientu (meaning ‘Flower of the Orient), specializes in East Asian books. The company also received LTI Korea’s support for the releases of Kin Young-ha’s short story collection Whatever Happened to the Guy Stuck in the Elevator? in 2009 and Hwang Sok-yong’s Strange Land in 2012, among other works of Korean literature. Kwiaty Orientu’s release of I’ll be Right There by Shin Kyung-sook was also voted Book of the Season in winter of 2012.

*Original link:http://www.granice.pl/kultura,oto-najlepsze-ksiazki-roku-2016,7007

                                                 <Han Kang, Bae Suah Take US Literary Market by Storm>

             The recent translations of Han Kang and Bae Suah’s novels have taken the US literary market by storm. Following the 2015 and 2016 UK and US releases of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, which won last year’s Man Booker International Prize, The Vegetarian translator Deborah Smith’s translation of the author’s novel Human Acts was released in January of 2017. The English translations were published by Portobello Books in the UK and Hogarth in the US.

             Human Acts is garnering much attention in the US, being reviewed upon release by the New York Times. On January 10, the paper published a review entitled The Author of The Vegetarian Takes On Korea’s Violent Past. The review describes the setting of the novel—the pro-democracy movement of 1980 in Gwangju—alongside the characters, and writes that the novel is “universally relevant and deeply resonant” as it uses human violence to question the nature of humanity.

*Original link:https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/books/review/han-kang-human-acts.html?_r=0

             The US releases of Bae Suah’s novels are also captivating readers. LTI Korea provided translation and publication grants to A Greater Music and Recitation, both translated by Deborah Smith. A Greater Music was published by Open Letter Books, and Recitation by Deep Vellum Publishing.

             Celebrating the releases of the two books, LTI Korea launched a marketing campaign all across the US last October. Bae was accompanied by translator Deborah Smith as they gave readings and met with readers in cities including New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Dallas.

             The English editions of A Greater Music and Recitation were made possible by LTI Korea’s publisher invitation program at the end of 2014. When renowned American publishers Open Letter Books and Deep Vellum Publishing expressed interest in Bae’s works, LTI Korea invited the publishers to Korea and set up meetings with Korean publishers and authors. Open Letter—the Universty of Rochester’s publishing house based in New York State—and Deep Vellum, based in Dallas, Texas, both specialize in translated literature. The two publishers have signed Korean literature publication agreements with the Institute every year since. The cooperation led to the English-language publication of Jung Young Moon’s Vaseline Buddha early this year by Deep Vellum, and the upcoming 2018 publication of Bae Suah’s The Owl’s Absence.            

             Recitation is the second of Bae’s works to be published in the US, following A Greater Music in October of 2016. Both are ranked on Amazon.com’s Asian American and Cultural Heritage bestsellers list, receiving positive reader reviews.

 

                                                            ▲The US covers of A Greater Music and Recitations.

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