New Korean Literature In Translation
Wednesday, October 5, 2016 at 7PM
Asian American Writers' Workshop (112 W 27th Street New York, New York 10001)
NEW KOREAN LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION
with Deborah Smith & Ed Park
Open to the public, RSVP required
Join us for a rare New York appearance by translator Deborah Smith, whose translation of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian: A Novel (Hogarth 2016) just won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. She’ll discuss her new translation of Bae Suah’s A Greater Music (Open Letter 2016) with novelist and editor Ed Park.
In Hang Kang’s The Vegetarian, the main character is a woman who embarks on vegetarianism to horrific, Kafaka-esque results. Writing in the New York Times, the author Porochista Khakpour wrote that Han Kang “has been rightfully celebrated as a visionary in South Korea and has been published around the world, but it took the enthusiasm of her translator, Deborah Smith, to bring The Vegetarian to publishing homes in Britain and the United States… [Smith] inhabits the prose’s terrible serenity and glacial horror—the translator’s hand never overwhelms or underperforms.” Smith now translates one of South Korea’s most acclaimed writers, Bae Suah, the winner of the Dongseo and Hankook Ilbo Literary Prizes. Her novel A Greater Music explores an unnamed writer’s dreamlike return to Berlin in a contemplative narrative that riffs on music and language, love and jealousy. As Sophie Hughes writes: "Bae Suah offers the chance to unknow—to see the everyday afresh and be defamiliarized with what we believe we know—which is no small offering.” A research fellow at SOAS, Deborah Smith founded Tilted Axis Press, a non-profit publishing house focusing on contemporary fiction specifically from Asia.
Ed Park is Executive Editor of Penguin Press. He was a founding editor of The Believer magazine and was an editor at The Village Voice, The Poetry Foundation, and Little A. He is the author of the novel Personal Days (Random House 2008), a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Bookforum, The Criterion Collection, and many other places.
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