SAT, JANUARY 29, 2022
Record-high 180 literary works in 29 languages published abroad
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Record-high 180 literary works in 29 languages published abroad
  • By Korea.net
  • 승인 2021.12.29 23:34
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In step with the global success of Korean pop and dramas as shown by BTS and "Squid Game," Korean literature has seen a record number of works published abroad to improve its global standing.

Literature Translation Institute (LTI) of Korea on Dec. 21 said an LTI Korea record-high 180 literary books this year in 29 languages have been published abroad with the institute's support. The number of cases in which foreign publishers bought the rights to a literary work and applied for translation and publication assistance from the institute also jumped 12-fold from just 13 in 2014 to 156 this year, attesting to surging demand for Korean literature abroad.

Korean literature saw its global standing rise as 12 domestic works this year won or were nominated for literary or translation awards.

Yun Ko-eun's "The Disaster Tourist" won the Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger (award) at the CWA Daggers of the U.K.'s Crime Writers' Association. Ma Yeong-shin's "Moms" was named Best International Book of the Year at the U.S. Harvey Awards, or the Oscars of comics. And "Yi Sang: Selected Poems" by the poet of the same name claimed the Modern Language Association's Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Literary Work.

A record-high 180 Korean literary works have been published this year in 29 languages thanks to the support of Literature Translation Institute (LTI) of Korea. From left clockwise are Yun Ko-eun's "The Disaster Tourist," Heo Yeong-seon's "Haenyeo," Hwang Sok-yong's "Familiar Things" and Ma Yeong-shin's "Moms." (LTI Korea)
A record-high 180 Korean literary works have been published this year in 29 languages thanks to the support of Literature Translation Institute (LTI) of Korea. From left clockwise are Yun Ko-eun's "The Disaster Tourist," Heo Yeong-seon's "Haenyeo," Hwang Sok-yong's "Familiar Things" and Ma Yeong-shin's "Moms." (LTI Korea)

Winning or being nominated for a literary or translation award overseas often boosts demand for translation and greatly helps Korean writers enter the global literary and publication market. Since novelist Han Kang in 2016 won the Man Booker International Prize, higher demand for her works led to 47 of her books being translated and published abroad with the institute's support. 

The French-language translation of "The Disaster Tourist" recently came out, and negotiations on securing the novel's rights are underway in several other countries including Spain.

LTI Korea said the growing global demand for Korean literature is thanks to the spread of Hallyu (Korean Wave), improvement in post-publication marketing and higher quality translations by native speakers of the target language.

Next year is expected to see around 200 Korean literary works published abroad, yet another big jump from this year's figure.


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