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Detective novels and thrillers in Korea

With the translation of Un-su KIM’s novel The Plotters, we have seen a growing interest in Korean thrillers outside Korea (see this article by the Guardian). But what about Korean crime novels in Korea? The Guardian mentions that it is still difficult for Korean authors to find their place in their own country, but things might be changing. Looking for Korean genre fiction… In 2008, the Korean detective novel celebrated its 100th anniversary. The first novel that can be defined as “detective novel” (추리소설) was published in 1908 (쌍옥정 by LEE Hae-jo 이해조). Since then, Korean detective novels have grown and known a period of prosperity during the 70s and the 80s. Since the middle of the nineties, however, translations of detective novels and thrillers have become more and more popular, and Korean crime fiction has disappeared from the best-selling shelves. Until only recently, it was difficult to find Korean detective novels in the big bookstores of the country like the Kyobo bookstore chain. On the table “detective novels” where best and steady sellers are …

New collection of Korean thrillers and mystery novels by publisher Human & Books!

Korean publisher Human & Books has launched a new collection of thrillers and mystery novels in 2019: “H&B 슬리러-미스터리 컬렉션”. The first book of this collection is the thriller <싱글몰트 사나이> by YU Guang-su (유광수). It was published in January 2019. The publisher said that they felt a sense of duty when they saw that Korean readership was reading mostly crime novels in translations. The novel <싱글몰트 사나이> came with a promotional wraparound band that announces the birth of the Korean style thrillers: “한국형 대형 스릴러의 탄생! 한국 스릴러 소설, 세계를 겨냥하다!”. The author YU Guang-su also said that he incorporated a typical Korean setting through the country’s politics, economy and modernity. The publisher Human & Books announced that they planned to publish at least 3 other books in this collection in 2019. Source: munhwa ilbo