Make particular note of the forthcoming titles — signs of much more to come. “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. In the midst of a student uprising, a young boy is killed. The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith. 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. Suah is heavily influenced by her work as a translator, having translated several books from German, including works by W.G. Check out our In Translation category. Penguin Random House to purchase Simon & Schuster in massive publishing deal. Can you have Thanksgiving during the COVID-19 pandemic? Decades after his famous dinner, the once-restless André Gregory writes of inner peace, The stage director and spiritual seeker of “My Dinner With Andre” ruminates on his life and old age in his first book, “This Is Not My Memoir.”, Review: Class struggle is murder in a lean, unsparing British debut mystery. “Diary of a Murderer,” Kim’s latest, is a collection of stories whose indelible characters include the child victim of a kidnapping who’s bonded with his abductor and a hit man with Alzheimer’s who muses, “It’s been twenty-five years since I last murdered someone, or is it twenty-six?”. She’s published numerous novels (including Nowhere to Be Found, also on this list) and short story collections and has won several prestigious awards. ‘Getting worse each day’: 1 in 145 L.A. County residents can infect others with the coronavirus. Op-Ed: On the COVID frontlines, we’re tired of hearing lame excuses for risky behavior. Woods is a book critic, editor and author of several anthologies and crime novels. In this intense, psychological thriller, Oghi has woken up in the hospital after a car accident that took his wife’s life and left him severely injured and incapacitated. Some are pure mystery writers, others more literary but dabbling in the genre, as does much of the best writing coming from Korea today. If you want more Kim Sagwa, pick up her newest release (also about young adults) B, Book, and Me translated by Sunhee Jeong. But something disturbing lies just below the surface. Other Lee novels that blend murder and international politics include “The Boy Who Escaped Paradise,” about a young, North Korean defector with Asperger’s. Our mission is to get Southern California reading and talking. Now you can see the COVID-19 risk anywhere in the country, in real time. Complete with striking drawings by Fi Jae Lee and a fascinating interview and translator’s note that captures the fierce intelligence of both author and translator, Autobiography of Death feels like one of the most important books I’ve ever read. Human Acts, by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith. One out of every 145 people in L.A. County is infectious COVID-19, officials said — a drastic jump from two months ago, when the rate was about 1 in 880. As coronavirus cases surge, L.A. officials consider new rules that would allow many businesses to remain open but with limited customer capacity. Her novels have been bestsellers in South Korea; “The Good Son,” her first to be translated into English, has sold over a million copies. Review: ‘The Only Child’ arrives as Korean thrillers come of age. A college admissions novel that’s less about gossip than complicity. As Reseng steps out of line, he comes to feel trapped between the teachings of his mentor and the corporate sensibilities of the new wave, embodied by Hanja, a former Old Raccoon acolyte with his own shop — “like any other boss of a security company.” Hanja has the hit men killing one another and Reseng on the run. ‘We’ve always had to battle complacency’: Authors Ijeoma Oluo and Emmanuel Acho in conversation. Many of these novels have themes similar to the ones explored in Parasite, some capture the tone and mood of the film, and others feel quite different but have the genius, the same ingenuity of Parasite. North Station, translated by Deborah Smith, is a collection of stories that embodies all that Suah is known for in her writing—subverting time and narrative, intellectually stimulating questions of art and life, and epically gorgeous writing. Unnerving, haunting, captivating, these ten stories follow ordinary characters going about their lives—they have a nightmare, lend their neighbor a spatula, or find out their landlord wants to sell their building. One small crack and everything’s unleashed. 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. We talk to the experts, Jan Morris, author and transgender pioneer, dies at 94, Appreciation: My lunch with Jan Morris, writer, traveler, transgender pioneer. 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. Since then, there was an addition of two books. The total of the fairy tales books of the drama is five and they are available to purchase. I love Man Booker International Prize winner The Vegetarian by Han Kang and it’s a great place to start this list. 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. The story becomes one of control and power as her husband and family try to break her into submission, back into the norms of Korean society. 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. Author and translator Don Lee Choi calls Kim Sagwa “South Korea’s young, brilliant, fearless writer” and it’s hard to argue after reading Sagwa’s shocking and powerful debut, Mina. Korean food, in general, is big on fruits and vegetables. 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. Thank you for signing up! While on a writer’s residency, a nameless narrator reckons with the death of her older sister, who died only a few hours old and left an inedible mark on the narrator and her family. Here the genius of the book becomes fully evident, as Hye-Young Pyun creates a fast-paced and all consuming story with a bedridden narrator. I love Man Booker International Prize … The abrupt shifts are disorienting and Suah breaks boundaries, constantly, between recollection and memory, facts, and fiction. While “The Plotters” might not work for mystery purists, Kim never lets the pace lag in this wild yet thought-provoking novel. Antiracist author Ijeoma Oluo, whose latest book is ‘Mediocre,’ joins Emmanuel Acho, author of ‘Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man,’ for a frank talk. It’s a beautiful and provocative story about a woman, Yeong-hye, who begins to have horrible nightmares of blood and carnage, and in order to clear her mind and rid herself of these dreams she becomes a vegetarian. To further emphasize her lack of control, Yeong-hye’s own story is told by others, in three parts, first by her husband, then her brother-in-law, and finally by her sister. “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. 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). You-Jeong Jeong. Bae Suah is one of the hottest, most experimental voices coming out of South Korea right now. Note that these books have no English translation. Born in a rural county in South Korea’s South Jeolla province, Jeong was a nurse before turning to writing full time. We're giving away a $250 gift card to Barnes and Noble. Powerful and haunting, this collection translated by Don Mee Choi “gives voice to those unjustly killed during Korea’s violent contemporary history” and grapples with the “structure of death” that we’re all living in, individually and collectively. It’s a dark, fascinating book that you won’t be able to stop thinking about it. “The latest in the trend of brilliant female Korean authors to appear in English, Ha cuts like a surgeon, and even the most mundane objects become menacing and unfamiliar under her scalpel.” And stay tuned for Bluebeard’s First Wife, another collection by Seong-Nan Han and translated by Janet Hong that comes out in June. Coming in May 2020 from Pyun is “The Law of Lines,” a book more firmly in the mystery genre that’s definitely on my list.