Library of Korean Literature

The Library of Korean Literature, published by Dalkey Archive Press in collaboration with the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, presents modern classics of Korean literature in translation, featuring the best Korean authors from the late modern period through to the present day. The Library aims to introduce the intellectual and aesthetic diversity of contemporary Korean writing to English-language readers. The Library of Korean Literature is unprecedented in its scope, with Dalkey Archive Press publishing 25 Korean novels and short story collections.

The Literature Translation Institute of Korea is a center that promotes the cultural translation and worldwide dissemination of Korean language and culture.

Showing 1–10 of 25 results

  • Sale! library of musical instruments cover

    The Library of Musical Instruments
    ( Paperback )

    $16.00 $12.80

    The second short-story collection by Kim Jung-hyuk, the author of Penguin News, features a total of eight short stories, including “Syncopation D” which won the 2nd Kim You-jeong Literary Award in 2008. They represent the many sounds sampled by the author when he recorded over 600 kinds of musical instruments. Like instruments coming together in a symphony, the stories combine to make an opus consisting of variations on a theme…

  • Sale! turbid river cover

    Turbid River
    ( Paperback )

    $21.00 $16.80

    Turbid River was written just before Ch’ae Man-Sik was arrested in 1938 by the Japanese colonial government. Like the two novels that followed (Peace Under Heavenand Frozen Fish), Turbid River is a realistic portrayal of life in Korea under Japanese colonization. The tragic story of a woman’s life, the novel is also a penetrating look into the objectification of women.

  • Sale! mannequin cover

    ( Paperback )

    $14.00 $11.20

    Ch’oe Yun’s Mannequin is a novel that reflects on the meaning of beauty and its many facets of existence. The beauty of the main character, Jini, is captured through a carefree imagination that describes it as “the music of the wind,” or something that can’t be described in words. Through the beauty that penetrates and captivates us in fleeting moments, the novel leads us to critically reflect on the question of what true beauty is…

  • Sale! evening proposal cover

    Evening Proposal
    ( Paperback )

    $16.00 $12.80

    Evening Proposal is a collection of eight stories about the grim and often faceless nature of urban life. Faintly reminiscent of Franz Kafka, the stories range from a man who discovers that his job performance has no significance while taking refuge in taking care of an abandoned rabbit to a man who finally expresses his love to discover that his expression frightened him more than his fear in anticipating the event.

  • Sale! A Contrived World

    A Contrived World
    ( Paperback )

    $16.00 $12.80

    Set in San Francisco, A Contrived World recounts the author’s visit to the mythic Californian city. While the novel is based in this real experi- ence, the narrator’s imaginative reflections cause the narrative to balloon outward into the realms of fiction and fantasy. Each chance encounter provides an opportunity to unfurl a fictional world that simultaneously complements and compromises the real world. In this mirthful anti-nov- el, the ambiguous fusion of observation and invention disrupts the con- ventions of personal memoir and travel writing, resulting in a chronicle that sets fiction against experience.

  • Sale! Son of Man, cover

    Son of Man
    ( Paperback )

    $16.00 $12.80

    One of the greatest living Korean writers here details the quest of a young seminary student seeking transcendence, running through many Western and East Asian theologies in the process.

  • Sale! A Good Family, cover

    A Good Family
    ( paperback )

    $18.00 $14.40

    This collection of eight stories—cynical and sympathetic by turns—represents the author’s attempt to document and understand the conflicts, resentments, hatreds, and anxieties of contemporary family life.

  • Sale! God Has no Grandchildren, cover

    God Has No Grandchildren
    ( paperback )

    $17.00 $13.60

    The nine stories that make up this collection depict a wide variety of contemporary Koreans navigating a world focused on material wealth and social power, in which family ties have been disrupted and all relationships are dysfunctional. Unpredictable and enigmatic, these tales, though taking place in what would appear to be a shallow, materialistic environment, are nonetheless woven through with rich threads of imagination and fantasy: parables for the self-help age.

  • Sale! The Private Life of Plants cover

    The Private Lives of Plants
    ( paperback )

    $15.00 $12.00

    Sexuality in all its ugliness and wonder is put under the microscope by Lee Seung-U, who reminds us that love may come in various forms, but that it is, nonetheless, a force that unifies us all … whether we like it or not.

  • Sale! LOKL16 RINA, cover

    ( paperback )

    $16.00 $12.80

    “The way in which the novel creates a family that accepts members from any nationality, sexual orientation, age, or gender has no precedent in Korean literature. Kang’s unique style of writing is equally radical. Her imagery is bare yet powerful, almost discomfiting in its unfamiliarity, and certainly too innovative to categorize or name.” —Kim Hyung-jung, Hankook Ilbo