Welcome to Free Word. Interested in exploring the political and cultural power of words? Join us at an upcoming event or read about the themes we explore.

Tales from Korea

Past Event

Join English PEN for an evening with acclaimed Korean writer Hwang Sok-yong and Adam Foulds in conversation with Boyd Tonkin.

Both writers will discuss how they engage with the themes of war and conflict and the human stories that emerge.

Part of the British Council London Book Fair Korea Market Focus 2014


Hwang Sok-yong was born in Hsinking, Manchuria in 1943 and was raised in Korea after the liberation of Korea in 1945. He started publishing his writing in the 70s, when Korea was under a military anticommunist dictatorship. After visiting North Korea in 1989, Hwang stayed in Germany as a artist-resident on an invitation from Akademie der Künste. During this time, he witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall. After returning to Korea in 1993, Hwang was incarcerated; he was later released in 1998 after serving a five-year prison term. He has adapted Korean folk tales to modern times, to produce works such as The Guest, Shim Cheong, and Princess Bari. The central topics of these novels, which take place in East Asia and the world beyond Korea, are peace and reconciliation. Many of Hwang’s works have been translated and published in France, the US, Germany, Italy and Sweden; 56 titles of his translated works are available across 16 languages.

Adam Foulds is a poet and novelist from London. He has been the recipient of a number of literary awards, including the Sunday Times Young Writer Of The Year, the Costa Poetry Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, the South Bank Show Prize for Literature, the Encore Award, and the European Union Prize For Literature.  His 2009 novel, The Quickening Maze, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.  He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2010.  His latest novel, In The Wolf’s Mouth, was published by Jonathan Cape in February 2014.

You may also like

Donate today to become a supporter of Free Word.