Kim Young-Ha was born in 1968 in Hwacheon, South Korea. He studied in the Business Department of Yonsei University. Kim Young-Ha’s father was in the military, so like many other writers, Kim’s childhood involved moving from place to place. TV was not always accessible in frontline areas, so Kim amused himself with books. He told stories to his school friends. Kim has said that memories before the age of 10 are a bit dim due to an incident when he was poisoned by fumes from coal gas. Kim’s father had volunteered to fight in Vietnam against the Viet Cong, a decision that greatly frustrated Kim when he was a teenager. His first piece, “Meditation on a Mirror”, was published in “Review” in 1996. He has had a number of short story collections published: “Pager”, and “What happened to that man stuck in the elevator?” He has also had a couple of books of essays published: “Fishing for Corbina Fish” and “Post-it”. Kim wrote the script for the movie “Eraser in my Head”, and 2 of his novels have been published as “Scarlet Letter”. He has won several literary prizes: the Dongin Literary Award, the Isan Literary Award, and the Hyeondae Literary Award. In 2004, he managed to win all 3 of South Korea’s literary awards: the Yi Sang Literature Award with “The Brother is Back”, the Hwang Sun-won Literature Award with “Treasure Ship”, and won Dong Literature Award with “Black Flower”. His novel entitled “I have the right to destroy myself” is due to be published by Harcourt Brace. It’s been described as a cross between “Lost in Translation” and “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”, and the author has been compared to Kafka, due to the existentialist style of his fiction. In the novel, the unnamed hero visits people who are suicidal, and helps them end their lives. Another Kim Young-Ha book, whose title translates into English as “Black Flower”, is due to be translated into English by Charles La Shure. “Black Flower” tells of Korean immigrants in Mexico at the time of the Mexican Revolution and the Japanese annexation of Korea. He is translating F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” into Korean. Kim Young-Ha works as a drama teacher at the Korea National University of Arts (KUNA).
Three Stories – by Kim Young-Ha in pdf format
Christmas Carol – a Kim Young-Ha short story translated into English by Charles La Shure
The Monster is Growing – a piece by Kim Young-Ha
The Seoul Times – their interview with Kim Young-Ha
Sharapova of Korean Literature, Kim Young-Ha – KBS Global’s interview with the author
Interview with the author of “The Pager” – the “Korea Times” interview
Liminality: the Space in Between – Charles La Shure writes about a question and answer session with Kim Young-Ha
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