The London Book Fair Korea Market Focus 2014: Edinburgh Reads with Kim Insuk and Han Kang

We welcome Korean writers Kim Insuk and Han Kang, and Scottish writer Karen Campbell to our Edinburgh Reads programme. Join us to discuss their writing in response to ideas of the individual, family, emigration and society. Chaired by Serena Field.

Tickets: Free, book online

Date: THURSDAY 10 APRIL, 19.00-20.00
Venue: Edinburgh Central Library, George IV Bridge Edinburgh EH1 1EG


Han Kang was born in 1970 in Gwangju, Korea. When she was ten years old, her family moved to Seoul where she spent her formative years. Han made her literary debut firstly as a poet in 1993 and then again as a novelist in 1994. She has been steadily publishing novels since. The works of Han Kang have been enthusiastically received by both critics and readers alike for their profound exploration of human nature through the author’s delicate yet powerful writing style. As if to say that our daily lives, the numerable socially accepted ideas that support those lives, and furthermore, the condition of being human itself constitute an unbearable violence, Han’s characters embrace their vivid, painful sensationsand navigate their lives with refined fortitude.She has published collections of short stories including Love in Yeosu, A Yellow Patterned Eternity, and The Fruits of My Woman as well as novels including Your Cold HandBlack Deer, Greek Lessons, and The Vegetarian. Among them, The Vegetarian combines human violence and the possibility of innocence as the thematic material with a vegetablesque imagination. This frightening beauty of a novel has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese,Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese and was also adapted into a film. Han participated in the Writers’ Workshop programme hosted bythe University of Iowa in 1998. Currently, she is a professor in the Department of Creative Writing at Seoul Institute of the Arts.


Kim Insuk was born in Seoul in 1963. Some of her works, The Road Travelled TogetherThe Light Nearby, and 1979-1980 Between the Winter and the Spring, are based on her experience of the democratisation movement in Korea during the 80s. After 1990, Korean society also underwent abrupt changes in the midst of the shifts in the world order brought on by the end of the Cold War. Kim devoted herself to scrutinizing the problems of compromise, fatigue, depression, and lethargy that began to appear in Korean society as it internalized the new capitalist order. Blade and Love and Story of a Woman are some of her works from this period. In 1993 Kim resided in Sydney, Australia for one and a half years; at the beginning of the 2000s she stayed for three and a half years in Dalian, China. Kim’s works The Long Road,Sydney, Standing at the Blue Ocean, and Ocean and Butterfly are based on those experiences. She has created stories that take place somewhere in the world beyond the borders of Korea. Kim’s works also include That Woman’sAutobiographyBye, ElenaTo Be Insane and Sohyeon. From the beginning of her writing career, Kim has persistently produced works that deal with the problems of the present time and that offer introspection into the human existence, without losing sight of the currents of changes in reality.


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