International Literary Exchanges


Special Guest Lecture : Chang-Rae LEE
The Daesan Foundation invited the acclaimed Korean-American novelist Chang-Rae LEE to give a lecture here. Chang-Rae LEE has established himself as one of America's respected young writers with only two books, Native Speaker and A Gesture Life. He was included in a list of the 20 best American authors under 40 compiled by New York magazine and has received such literary prizes as Hemingway Foundation Award, the PEN Award and the American Book Award.
He gave a lecture at the Kyobo Life Building on May 20. Delivering a lecture titled, "Questions of Belonging: Notes from a Korean-American Writer", he talked about his childhood, family, friends, students and the act of writing as part of what constitute his personal identity.
Before the lecture, he held a news conference. he said that he just finished his third novel "Aloft", which would be published in early 2004. "Aloft" is the story of a family struggling to come to terms with itself. He is also preparing fourth novel, about life after the Korean War. At the conclusion, he said that "Korean elements of my life will never go away. I would much rather Korean people read my work than know my name."
Korea-Mexico Literary Exchanges
The Daesan Foundation held a Korea-Mexico literary exchange program co-organized by the Asian American Studies Institute of Dankook University on June 2∼6, 2003. Three Mexican writers participated in the program and exchanged ideas with Korean authors and translators, as well discussing their works.
Novelist Humberto Guzman, playwright Javier Malpica Maury and Children's book author Monica Beltran Brozon met with Spanish literature professors, experts and translators at the Daesan Foundation on June 3. The writers gave lectures on their works at Dankook University and looked around downtown Seoul.
The Foundation and Mexican Embassy of Korea agreed to hold the literary exchange program regularly.
Moscow Korean Literature Festival
Together with the Institute of Russian World Literature Academy, the Daesan Foundation held the first Korean Literature Festival ever in Russia on June 4∼11 in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Critic YU Jong-Ho, CHO Dong-Il, Poet CHONG Hyeon-Jong and Russian literature professor KIM Hyun-Taek participated in the Festival.

The Festival was inspired by the recently completed project of translating Azalea by KIM So-Wol, one of the greatest Korean poets, into Russian, which was funded by the Daesan Foundation.
The Festival was comprised of a forum, a reading of Korean literature, a party celebrating the publication of the book and lectures involving both Korean and Russian literary experts.
UK-Korea Fantasy Literature Forum
The Daesan Foundation and British Council co-organized the UK-Korea Fantasy Literature Forum jointly with the Korean Association of Literature and Film at the Convention Center of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts on September 19, 2003.
This Forum provided an opportunity to look into fantasy literature from creative, academic and commercial perspectives. With the title of "Fantasy, Unreality or Creative Imagination", nine Korean and British speakers presented on themes related fantasy literature. Critic Brian Rosebury, KIM Seong-Kon and publisher John Jarrold gave presentations which dealt with perspectives on fantasy literature. Chaz Brenchley, Cliff McNish, Peter Hunt, LEE Young-Do, SONG Kyung-A and HAN Chang-Yop talked about their writing on works of fantasy and shared their ideas.
As part of the Forum, Kyobo Book Center exhibited fantasy books such as J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and Cliff McNish's Doomspell Trilogy.
The Korean Writers' Reading Series in America
The Daesan Foundation sponsored The Korean Writers' Reading Series at three midwestern and eastern state universities in the U.S. - Columbia University, University of Michigan, and the University of Iowa. Novelist HWANG Seok-Young, poet HWANG Ji-Woo and critic HAN Ki-Wook took part in the readings, which were held from October 9 to 19.
The Korean writers read their works and talked with the audience afterward. The novelist HWANG read his novel A Shadow of Arms and A Guest. HWANG Ji-Woo recited several of his poems, such as "Variety Show, 1984" and "A Diary about Fatty Sofa". The critic HAN Ki-Wook discussed in detail the writers and their works, shedding lights into the literary imagination of each writer.
The noteworthy achievement of the series was that it created a valuable opportunity to promote Korean literature to the western academic community. The Foundation is committed to developing this series and kindling further interest in Korean literature in the English speaking world.
OH Jung-Hee's Liberaturpreis and Reading in Frankfurt
Novelist OH Jung-Hee won the 16th Liberaturpreis, a German literary award, with her novel 『Vogel, A Bird』. 『Vogel』, released in Germany at Pendragon Verlag, was translated by Ms. KIM Sun-Hi and Professor Edeltrud Kim with the support of the Daesan Foundation's translation grant. Liberaturpreis was launched in 1987 by the Initiative Liberaturpreis comprised of German readers and members of the literary institution, with the aim of introducing female writers from Asian, African and Latin continents to German readers. A Liberaturpreis jury praised OH for her elegant writing, as well as for masterfully drawing the struggles of a neglected pre-teen Korean girl without making a hero of her.
Novelist OH Jung-Hee was recorded as the first Korean writer ever to receive an overseas literary award.
The award ceremony was held on October 5 at the World Christian Church in Frankfurt. Novelist OH and two translators attended at the ceremony. More than one hundred fifty people gathered there to celebrate her.
On October 7, novelist OH had a book reading event at the Frankfurt Literature House. She read the first chapter of her novel 『Vogel』, and answered questions.
The following day, they looked around the Frankfurt Book Fair. They visited the booths of Korean division, Liberaturpreis, and also of a few German publishers'. The Daesan Foundation will participate at the Frankfurt Book Fair from 2004 in cooperation with the organizing committee of the Book Fair.