A Conversation with Author Cho Haejin and Translator Ji-Eun Lee

Thu, November 19, 7:00pm - 8:00am
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Join the Gateway Korea Foundation for our final webinar of the year, scheduled for 7 pm (US CT) on Thursday, November 19th. Korean literature has received unprecedented attention from international readers and critics in recent years, and this conversation with award-winning author Cho Haejin and translator Ji-Eun Lee offers a chance to explore this vibrant literary field with one of its major figures.

I Met Loh Kiwan (로기완을 만났다, 2011, trans. 2019), winner of the 2013 Shin Dong-yup Prize for Literature, is a poignant novel following North Korean refugee Loh Kiwan to Brussels, Belgium, a place where he doesn't speak the language or understand the customs. His story of hardship and determination is gradually revealed in flashbacks by the narrator, Kim, a writer from South Korea who, while tracing Loh's progress from North Korea to Brussels to London, turns this journey into her own search for the meaning of life amidst tremendous loss and despair. Kim's encounters with Pak, a doctor who helps Loh and Kim on their journeys, adds further depth to these issues through gradual revelations about life and death decisions he faced with his patients, and the remorse they caused. Cho Haejin weaves details of these characters into a story of hope and trust that asks basic questions about what it means to be human and humane.

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Meeting ID: 938 4939 0702
Password: 954466


About the Author, Cho Haejin

Since winning the Munye Chungang's Newcomer's Award for her writing debut in 2004, Cho Haejin has solidified her reputation as one of South Korea's major writers with five novels and three collections of short stories. Her works have been shortlisted for most of the major literary awards in Korea and won several, including the 2013 Shin Dong-yup Prize for Literature for the novel I Met Loh Kiwan (로기완을 만났다2011). Described as a writer of compassion and tenderness, her works highlight people pushed to the margins of society — people viewed as "others" (t'aja) by those, both within Korea and beyond, who inhabit society's presumed mainstream.

About the Translator, Ji-Eun Lee

As a scholar of Korean literature with a comparative background, Ji-Eun Lee's research interest covers from the nineteenth century to contemporary times, with topics including women and gender, print culture and book history, memory and postmemory, and travel and domesticity. In addition to her translation work, Lee pursues her own writing projects in areas such as post-Cold War Korean literature and Colonial Korean woman writers. She is also an assistant professor of Korean Language and Literature and Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis.

GKF Webinars are presented by the Gateway Korea Foundation in partnership with the Asian Affairs Center and the Institute of Korean Studies, University of Missouri-Columbia. View the monthly schedule.