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HomeLifestyle8 books that will transport you to S Korea

8 books that will transport you to S Korea

Nov 15, 2023

Aakanksha Sharma


​South Korea through authors’ eyes

To enable you to witness South Korea through books, here we present eight of them that will transport you to Korea all the while you sit in the comfort of your bed.


​‘Please Look After Mom’ by Kyung-Sook Shin

The novel follows a family’s search for their missing mother, reflecting on the sacrifices made by a woman for her family and the disappointment they face. lt explores guilt, and the complexity of relationships in modern S. Korea.


​‘The Vegetarian’ by Han Kang

The novel is an unsettling story about a woman’s decision to stop eating meat in a dominantly non-vegetarian country and its impact on her life and relationships. The book talks about societal pressures in South Korea, from food to decision-making.


​‘Pachinko’ by Min Jin Lee

‘Pachinko’ is almost similar to an epic saga that follows multiple generations of a Korean family living in Japan. It captures the struggles, discrimination and triumphs of Korean immigrants in Japan throughout the 20th century.


‘Your Republic Is Calling You’ by Kim Young-ha

The novel features a North Korean spy, Gi-yeong, who receives a mysterious directive to return home after years of silence. Spanning the course of just a single day, the storyline unravels a gripping family secret amid political and cultural transformations.


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​‘At Dusk’ by Hwang Sok

The novel revolves around a wealthy Park Minwoo, who re-evaluates his success when corruption taints his firm. As one of his old loves resurfaces, he thinks back in time about lost love and societal transformation, exploring Korea’s past sacrifices in pursuit of progress.


​‘I’ll Be Right There’ by Kyung-Sook Shin

Set in 1980’s South Korea, ‘I’ll Be Right There’ follows Jung Yoon and a group of college students who grapple with personal loss, political turmoil and the search for meaning in their lives.


​‘Once Around the Sun’ by Melanie Steyn

Melanie Steyn’s ‘Once Around the Sun’ is set in a Korean seaside village. Through different chapters and seasons, the lives of the family members unfold to the readers. In some instances of spiritual awakening and others of personal exploration, the family seems almost like home.


​‘The Birth of Korean Cool’ by Euny Hong

The book by Euny Hong gives an insight into South Korea’s astounding transformation from a conservative society to a global ‘pop culture’ powerhouse. The book goes through Korea’s leap in technology, entertainment, and societal shifts, as it becomes a modern, trendsetting nation.


Thanks For Reading!

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