Writers to Watch Fall 2021English(English) Article
Publishers Weekly / July 02, 2021
Explorations of class, race, and sexuality play into many of this fall’s notable fiction debuts, including a novel about a young Black woman working in financial services, a South Korean gay romance, and more. Nawaaz Ahmed Supersized and Fully Formed In 1994, Nawaaz Ahmed left India for a graduate program in computer science at Cornell. “I don’t think in India you go around saying, ‘I want to be a writer,’ ” he says from his home in Brooklyn. Like his debut, Radiant Fugitives (Counterpoint, Aug.), which PW called “dazzling” in a starred review, the path to writing a novel was long and windy, and informed by his political consciousness as a gay Muslim immigrant. Ahmed took a job in the Bay Area with Inktomi in 2000, touted at the time as the next Microsoft, he says. Two years later its stock plummeted from a peak of $241 to a quarter a share, and the company was sold to Yahoo. By 2007 he’d become involved with book clubs and writing groups mainly comprising other South Asians and went part-time at Yahoo to focus on his writing. In 2009 he left for the University of Michigan, expecting to finish a book by the time his MFA scholarship support ran out. “But it took 10 years,” he adds, laughing.
Na K-Pop is K-lit nu de nieuwste hit uit het land van de Gangnam StyleDutch(Nederlands) Article
Trouw / November 23, 2021
Na popmuziek, games en films is nu ook literatuur uit Zuid-Korea wereldwijd in opmars. Deze K-lit geeft een aardig inkijkje in de moraal van het land, weet vertaler Mattho Mandersloot. ‘Het is daar niet de bedoeling dat je een scharrel meeneemt naar je ouders.’ Sander Becker23 november 2021, 13:05 De K-wave overspoelt de wereld, ook met boeken. Zuid-Korea timmert cultureel enorm aan de weg. Het land verovert de wereld met popmuziek, games, films, series en zelfs romans. De successen stapelen zich op: van de maffe raphit Gangnam Style tot aan de met vier Oscars bekroonde film Parasite, en van de horrorkomedie Squid Game tot aan kimchi, de gefermenteerde kool die oprukt op menukaarten. Deze Korean Wave of K-wave is bewust door de Zuid-Koreaanse regering op gang gebracht, al in de jaren negentig. Het land probeerde destijds uit een economische crisis te klauteren. Waarom gaan we geen cultuur exporteren, was toen het idee. Dan verwerf je in het buitenland bekendheid en soft power, waardoor ook mobieltjes en beeldschermen van Zuid-Koreaanse multinationals als Samsung en LG meer aftrek vinden. Het werkt. Neem alleen al de populaire boyband BTS. Hun internationale discohit Dynamite leverde het land vorig jaar 1,2 miljard euro aan economische activiteit op, plus 8000 nieuwe banen, aldus een schatting van de overheid.
A Queer, Literary Coming-of-Age in SeoulEnglish(English) Article
The New York Times / November 16, 2021
Here is my favorite moment from this novel about love: While lying in bed beside Gyu-ho, the great love of his life, the narrator, Young — a cynical writer who would never use the phrase “great love of his life” — asks his partner why he continued their sexual relationship after he found out about Young’s H.I.V. infection (which he playfully nicknames Kylie, as in Minogue).
The must-read books of November 2021English(English) Article
Entertainment Weekly / November 01, 2021
Perhaps the best of the COVID-pandemic-inspired novels so far, Our Country Friends plays with the social and cultural woes of early lockdown. A group of friends and colleagues decamp for an estate in upstate New York, each packing their own specific blend of neurosis and desire for self-destruction; as the pandemic wanes on, their collective plights become more and more complicated, all to the reader's delight. (Nov. 2)
Bryan Washington: Reading short stories and YA to get through the pandemicEnglish(English) Article
The Boston Globe / October 14, 2021
Bryan Washington says one of the reasons he wrote his award-winning story collection “Lot” was that his native city, Houston, especially its more hardscrabble side, was so underrepresented in literature. Houston is also the backdrop of the young author’s much-lauded debut novel, “Memorial,” which he has described as a “gay slacker dramady.” Among his many awards, Washington was named a National Book Award 5 Under 35 honoree in 2019. The author is a writer-in-residence at Rice University. “Memorial” is out in paperback Oct. 26.
Na K-pop en Squid Game moet dít de nieuwe sensatie uit Zuid-Korea wordenDutch(Nederlands) Article
NPO Radio 1 / October 26, 2021
Het boek 'Liefde in de grote stad' van Sang Young Park, over het leven van een queer millennial, is een mega bestseller in Zuid-Korea. Mattho Mandersloot heeft het boek vertaald en legt uit waarom het zo baanbrekend is.
For queer Seoulites in 'Love in the Big City,' pride and shame intertwineEnglish(English) Book Review
npr / December 23, 2021
In "Late Rainy Season Vacation," a story in Sang Young Park's Love in the Big City, a gay character decides to lie down in the middle of a rain-soaked street with his lover, luxuriating in the sensation of being at once exposed and protected by the inclement weather.
The 19 Best LGBTQ+ Books Of 2021 And That Definitely Deserve A Place In Your BookshelfEnglish(English) Article
BuzzFeed / December 05, 2021
In a time when we were more isolated than ever, reading helped me feel connected to the queer community even when it wasn't possible to gather in public. Here are 19 of my favorites (in no particular order):
How to Make It in Seoul: Sang Young Park’s Novel of Gay Almost-Romance Love in the Big CityEnglish(English) Book Review
LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS / December 05, 2021
In recent years the internet has launched into the zeitgeist the term “incel,” referring to individuals filled with resentment about their state of involuntary celibacy — i.e., sexlessness. In nearly all cases the incel is a heterosexual male, though some have speculated on the nature of his homosexual equivalent: a tweet I saw a few months ago, for example, posited that “the gay version of ‘incel’ is not finding a long-term relationship.” If so, then the protagonist of Sang Young Park’s novel Love in the Big City is a kind of incel. With opportunities for casual sex perpetually close at hand, thanks not least to smartphone dating apps, Young longs for nothing more than a deep and lasting connection. Yet all the overlapping cultures that clam him — gay culture, “hook-up” culture, social-media culture, Korean culture — seem to have allied themselves against the fulfillment of that desire.
When You Can’t Get Lost in Seoul Nightlife, ‘Love in the Big City’ Is the Next Best ThingEnglish(English) Book Review
Eater / December 09, 2021
There’s a blurry photo of me, taken on one of my last nights in Seoul, taken on a city bus as it sped past blinking Gangnam lights. I’m dressed sharp — no self-respecting Korean would ever leave their apartment looking anything but — and bundled in a glossy down coat. My head tipped back, eyes closed in euphoria, I’m drinking wine straight from the bottle. I’m guzzling shamelessly in public because I’m young and I’m thirsty and I’m feeling so good from a night of feasting with friends that I don’t care what anyone thinks of me on this bus, which is nearly empty except for us, in a city that I’ve called home for nearly seven years.
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