One reason why I love reading books from authors across the globe is to quench my quest to know a new land. I think this is a fantastic way to get an inside peak into their culture, land, food, and history.
So, when I started reading and venturing into more and more Asian authors, Murakami was the 1st name that popped up. But for a long time after that, I didn’t stumble upon any other Asian author.
But after going through a lot of Bookstagramers and Goodreads recommendations, I did manage to find some interesting books by Korean Authors which have not only made it big in their country but enthralled the readers world over.
So here is my list of must-read books by Korean Authors. Well, some of these I have read, and some are in my TBR list and targeted to be read this year itself.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Let’s start the list with a book that has been most hyped and raved about. Pachinko is a story of one woman who moves from Korean to Japan under unfavorable circumstances. This novel is driven by the battles face by immigrants. Like identity, belonging and homeland. Pachinko is your window to Korean culture, trauma and strained relationship of Korea and Japan. The book is also being adopted into a drama by one of the leading Korean actor Lee Min-Ho.
2. Please look after Mother by Kyung Sook Shin
This book will reconnect and resonate with the readers and their own family. This book is about So-Nyo, a mother and a wife who suddenly disappears. While their family search the streets for her, they recollect her life and all the things that were left unsaid. The desires, the dreams, the heartache, and the secrets that she has been holding up for all this while are discovered.
3. Kim Ji-Young Born 1982 by Cho Nam Joo
An international Bestseller, this book has been receiving lot of appreciation from readers across the globe. A simple tale about a girl born during the 80’s and how misogynist and oppressive the society behaves towards girl/woman. The slim and unadorned narratives will list out experiences which are ubiquitous not only in Asian countries but world over.
Apart from these 3, there are many other books which make a good read. “The Vegetarian by Han Kang”, where a woman against the will of her husband, decides to go all Vegetarian after a bad dream. “When my Name was Keoko by Linda Sue Park” which again is in line with Pachinko and Koreas strained relation with Japan. “If I had your face by Frances Cha” talks about the Korean beauty standards.
Reading books by Korean authors, and being an ardent fan of K-drama, I have gained a lot of insight into the Korean history and culture. Being Asians, somewhere we share similar culture and approach in life. But the most intriguing part for both Indians and Koreans is the history that has left behind a generational trauma. Indians from their fight for freedom and one of the most gruesome partitions in the history. Korea for the Japan occupation and their exploitation.
Hope my list gives you at least one book that you would want to read. This list is based on my personal reading preferences and is no way complete and absolute. Probably with time I may have more books to add to the list. Afterall reading is a journey and not a destination.
If you are looking for some quick reads, do check out my blog “5 books under 200 pages for a quick read”
This blog is a part of Book Marathon by https://outsetbooks.com/
This article is written as a part of The Bloggers League conducted by Vidhya Thakkar Neelam Sharma and Siddhi Palande powered by Penguin India, Dreamland Publications and Acclidesign should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. Hosts are not responsible for any infringement caused.”