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Korean novel shines in Lithuania

Korean author Ha Il-ji’s 2009 novel “The Republic of Uzupis” has been selected as one of the 12 best translated books of 2012 by Lithuania’s government-affiliated literary organization.

A tale about a middle-aged man who wanders in search of an imaginary country, the novel was translated into Lithuanian by Korean translator Seo Jeon-seok with the support of Literature Translation Institute of Korea and published in Lithuania in 2012.

“Filled with humor and mystique, the novel tells the story of the lost past through the eyes of a South Korean writer,” wrote major Lithuanian media outlet 15MIN about Ha’s novel.
A Lithuanian edition of Ha Il-ji’s 2009 novel “The Republic of Uzupis” (LTI Korea)
A Lithuanian edition of Ha Il-ji’s 2009 novel “The Republic of Uzupis” (LTI Korea)

According to LTI Korea, Ha’s novel was selected among some 400 translated works published in Lithuania in 2012. The Lithuanian Association of Literary Translators selected the books after evaluating the literary value of the original works as well as the quality of the translation.

This is not the first time Korean literature has received recognition in the Baltic state. Popular Korean author Kim Young-ha’s “Whatever Happened to the Guy Stuck in the Elevator” was also translated into Lithuanian and hit bookstores there in 2011. The translated novel received positive reviews from Lithuanian critics, according to LTI Korea, with the book being compared to the quality of famed Japanese writer Haruki Murakami’s works.

Korea’s celebrated writer Yi Mun-yol’s 2011 work of fiction “Lithuanian Woman” is also being translated into Lithuanian and is scheduled to be published there by MINTIS Publishing House, LTI Korea said.

By Claire Lee (
Korea Herald Youtube