Hallyu – the Korean Wave – is the astonishing phenomenon of pop music, TV, film and gaming that has swept across Asia, into the Middle East and into the West since the beginning of this millennium. It has made South Korea the coolest, hippest country in Asia, and Psy its most famous ambassador. But what lurks behind the country’s successes – the glittery visage of hallyu, the leading consumer brands and the renowned academic prowess of Korean students? What kind of society also results in world leadership in cosmetic surgery and young suicides? Does Korean contemporary literature hold the answers?
The Asia Literary Review (ALR), one of Asia’s leading literary magazines, has published its ‘K-Lit’ issue focused on writings by and about Korea’s sub-forty generation. The stories, essays and poetry provide disquieting reflections on a contradictory society, which at once offers and demands so much from the young. ALR’s Managing Editor Phillip Kim will moderate a panel that discusses K-Lit and how it compares and contrasts with the wop-dancing, binge-watching mass appeal of its pop media cousins.
The panel includes award winning author Han Yujoo (The Moon, Book of Ice, My Left Hand the King, My Right Hand the King’s Scribe and The Impossible Fairytale), novelist and screenwriter Cheon Myeong-kwan (Modern Family, My Uncle Bruce Lee and Whale) and acclaimed translator Deborah Smith (Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, Human Acts and Ahn Do-hyun’s The Salmon Who Dared to Leap Higher).
Expect music and screenings, on top of an informative and fascinating discussion.
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