Swedish ambassador hosts novelist Lee Kiho

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Apr 6, 2014 - 20:39
  • Updated : Apr 6, 2014 - 20:39
Swedish Ambassador Lars Danielsson (standing) hosts Lee Ki-ho (second from right) during Seoul Literary Society’s 34th session, held at the ambassador’s home in Seongbuk-dong, Seoul, Thursday.(Swedish Embassy)
Swedish Ambassador to South Korea Lars Danielsson hosted the 34th session of the Seoul Literary Society, which featured novelist Lee Ki-ho, at the ambassador’s home in the Seongbuk-dong neighborhood of Seoul on Thursday.

Lee, who debuted with a short story in 1999, has been described as inventive for both his narrative form and his iconoclastic characters.

One character is a small-time pimp who dropped out of high school after assaulting a teacher. Another is a third-rate actor addicted to sniffing glue. A third ekes out a living by working at a convenience store.

Lee’s stories are filled with desperate characters, but sometimes they are imbued with abnormalities, such as a teenager with eyes on the back of his head and a man in love with a flagpole with the South Korean flag hanging from it.

Thursday was the society’s 34th meetup of Korean literature enthusiasts. The SLS was set up in 2006 by then-Swedish Ambassador to Korea Lars Vargo, who was an accomplished poet and novelist in his own right.

Lee’s 2009 novel “At Least We Can Apologize” was translated into English in 2013.

Through the years, SLS has hosted some of Korea’s highest-regarded wordsmiths. SLS hosted Kim Young-ha, author of “I Have the Right to Destroy Myself.” Kim Seung-hee, a poet and author of the novel “The One Who Goes to Santa Fe,” also shared her works with SLS members.