Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin, and Some Thoughts on Culture-Specific Modes of Reading

Last semester, a student of mine gave me a paperback copy of the English translation of Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin. It was a very kind gesture, and I appreciated it very much. This whole culture of gifting professors–sometimes before exams, which is a little uncomfortable, but more often after–is rather nice. I’ll […]

I Have the Right to Destroy Myself by Young Ha Kim (Translated by Chi-Young Kim)

Having read and very much enjoyed the Portable Korean Library translation of “The Photo-Shop Murders” and especially “Whatever Happened to the Guy in the Elevator,” I went into this book expecting something dark, funny, and entertainingly disturbing. Kim scores on about half of those expectations: this “novel” (at 120 pages, it’s more of a novella, […]