KLWAVE features content to introduce a diverse range of Korean literature to overseas readers. This year, we will introduce the best-selling Korean literature every quarter.
KLWAVE’s second-quarter best sellers were selected based on the comprehensive consideration of the list of best-selling books provided by two Korean bookstore chains and the list of most borrowed books provided by the Korean Library Association from April to June 2023.
Just like in the previous quarter, the popularity of novels that offer solace and “healing” power continues to thrive. This quarter, a diverse array of books has captured attention, ranging from older works that have been brought back into the spotlight to a collection of award-winning works showcasing the talents of the most notable young writers in Korea’s current literary stage.
The domination of Uncanny Convenience Store remains unyielding, with Kim Hoyeon’s Uncanny Convenience Store and its sequel, Uncanny Convenience Store 2, securing the first and third places on the bestseller list. Additionally, Marigold Mind Laundry and Dallergut Dream Department Store have also garnered love from readers, while Welcome to the Hyunam-dong Bookstore emerged as a new bestseller, indicating a steady demand for what is commonly known in Korea as “healing novels.”
The collection of works awarded Munhakdongne’s “2023 New Writer Award” has also captured the attention of readers. The winning works collection, which has been published annually since 2010, has become a representative book introducing the most promising new Korean novelists to readers.
Father’s Liberation Diary, penned by Jung Jia ranked fourth last quarter, has climbed two spots to become the second overall bestseller this quarter, solidifying its position as a steady seller. Meanwhile, Cheon Myeongkwan’s Whale, originally published in 2004, has recently gained renewed attention after twenty years, by being short-listed for the 2023 International Booker Prize, one of the world’s three major literary awards.
In essays, books by renowned figures such as Yeosu Sister, a YouTuber, Kim Hyeja, a seasoned actress, Son Woongjung, a football coach and father of football player Son Heungmin, as well as former anchor Sohn Mina, have won the hearts of readers.
Written by Han So Bum
A journalist of Hankook Ilbo and the writer of book review articles for the Korean literature newsletter “Munhak.”
Translated by Kim Soyoung
Soyoung is a freelance translator residing in Korea. After a decade of corporate life, she now works with global PR agencies and international organizations on translation and transcreation projects.
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