SOAS University of London

Centre of Korean Studies

Literary Event with Korean Novelist - Border States and Mother Tongues: An Evening with Bae Suah

Bae Suah
Bae Suah with Deborah Smith & Kate Griffin

Date: 11 June 2014Time: 5:15 PM

Finishes: 11 June 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B104

Type of Event: Talk

Bae Suah, currently in residence at Writers' Centre Norwich, has been described as 'one of the most radical and experimental writers working in Korea today', and has also translated writers such as Kafka, W.G. Sebald, Fernando Pessoa and Sadeq Hedayat. Join the author, translator Deborah Smith, and the British Centre for Literary Translation's Kate Griffin for bilingual readings and discussion covering intra-cultural literary conventions, the uses of 'foreignness', and the joys and challenges of translation. A drinks reception will follow the main event.


Bae Suah was born in Seoul in 1965 and graduated from Ewha Womens’ University with a degree in Chemistry. Known to be one of the most daringly unconventional and innovative writers to grace the Korean literary establishment, Bae made her debut with A Dark Room in 1988, and has published two anthologies of short fiction including Highway with Green Apples, and several novels including Rhapsody in Blue and The Essayist's Desk. Her accolades include the Hankook Ilbo Literary Prize and Dongseo Literary Prize. As part of the London Book Fair 2014 Korea Market Focus Cultural Programme supported by The British Council and Arts Council Korea, Bae Suah is Writer in Residence at Writers’ Centre Norwich in May-July 2014

Kate Griffin is International Programme Director at the British Centre for Literary Translation (BCLT), at the University of East Anglia, and has developed projects in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. An international literature consultant, she also works with Writers’ Centre Norwich and the London Review of Books. From 2005 until 2010 Kate was a judge for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.

Deborah Smith is an early-career Korean literary translator and a PhD student in the Department of Japan & Korea at SOAS. She has been translating Bae Suah’s The Essayist’s Desk funded by the Literature Translation Institute of Korea (LTI Korea), and her translation of The Vegetarian by Han Kang is forthcoming from Portobello Books (2015). She has also translated short stories by Kim Kyung-uk and Kim Ae-ran, and received translation grants from English PEN and the International Communication Foundation (ICF), Korea.


This event is free and open to all those who wish to attend, however we would ask that you register your interest via RSVP.

Online Registration

Organiser: SOAS CKS in association with The British Council, Arts Council Korea, and Writers’ Centre Norwich

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Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4893