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Local writers visit Istanbul to share Korean literature

Nov 06,2017
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Some of the Korean writers who will participate in the International Istanbul Book Fair at the Tuyap Fair Convention and Congress Center until Nov. 12. From left: Son Hong-gyu, Lee Seong-bok, Ahn Do-hyun and Kim Ae-Ran. [ LITERATURE TRANSLATION INSTITUTE OF KOREA]
To introduce readers to the charms of popular Korean writers, six local authors traveled to Istanbul for the International Istanbul Book Fair. Korea is the guest of honor at the 36th edition of the event, which runs until Nov. 12.

Over 800 different publishing companies from 18 different countries are in attendance at this year’s fair, and Korean writers will be a part of seven different events at the Tuyap Fair Convention and Congress Center. Poet Ahn Do-hyun will join moderator Calayan Cevik, a Turkish reporter covering literature, to talk about his bestselling book “The Salmon Who Dared to Leap Higher,” which was first published in 1996. His book is one of the most translated and published Korean literary works, alongside “The Vegetarian” by writer Han Kang.

Other Korean writers and literary figures will pair with local experts to delve deeper into the publishing scene in Korea and Turkey at panels such as “The Overall State of the Turkish and Korean Publishing Industry,” “The State of Children’s Publishing in Korea and Turkey” and “The State of Copyright Trading” to inspire publishers in both countries to seek ways to publish local literary works overseas.

To introduce Korean literature translated into Turkish, the Literature Translation Institute of Korea is presenting 15 books during the fair along with over 120 classical works from the past and more recently-released creative works.

“We hope the interest in Korean culture started from the spread of Hallyu [Korean Wave of popular culture] extend to Korea’s classical and modern literary works at this fair,” said the Literature Translation Institute of Korea in a release.

More events are available outside of the convention halls as well. Tonight, poet Chun Yang-hee, Lee Seong-bok and Ahn Do-hyun as well as novelist Son Hong-gyu will join Turkish writers at a reading session held at the cultural center Dam.

Son wrote a story about a Turkish man who fights in the Korean War and then settles in the country while adopting a Korean orphan in his novel “The Wind Blows Harder in Other Lands.”

A lecture scheduled for Tuesday will be a bit more academic and educational than the reading session, as novelist Kim Ae-ran and Choi Yoon and Professor Jeong Eun-kyung of Istanbul University will give a lecture on how to best approach and understand modern Korean literature at Istanbul University.

BY LEE SUN-MIN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]