Linco Press is Linco's first imprint that was launched in 2012. Its focus is on bringing works by Korean authors to an English speaking audience. Linco Press aims to publish works by both established and new Korean authors in English. Its core belief is that translated literature offers a refreshingly different and new perspective, deepening our understanding of the world. There is always a thirst for new ideas expressed in new ways – and Linco Press looks to feed that with a range of exciting literature that will provide startlingly fresh insights as they reach Western audiences for the first time. Until now Linco Press has signed contracts to translate and publish Taebaek Sanmaek by Jo Jung Rae; Six Months with Buddha by Kim Jeongbin and History of Commerce by Joh Myung Gye. You can read more information about the authors and their books below.
Jo Jung Rae (조정래)
Jo Jung Rae was born on 17 August 1943 in Seungjugun, Chollanamdo province, South Korea, in a Buddhist temple called Seonamsa. As a boy, he went to Seojung primary school in Gwangju and to Boseong High School in Seoul. After graduating from high school in 1962, Jo studied Korean literature at Dongguk University in Seoul. In 1967, Jo married Johae Kim – a poet. After a successful debut in Hyundae Munhak magazine in 1970 with two short stories, False Accusations and The Journey of a Teacher, Jung Rae Jo has written essays, short stories, novellas and novels addressing the problems that face modern Korean society and the turbulent history of the Korean peninsula. He has embraced a number of genres, writing for various audiences including young adults, with biographies of well-known Koreans, including King Sejon, Admiral Lee Sunsin and leader of the Korean Independence Movement, Kim Koo.
In 1973, Jo became a chief editor of Wolgan Munhak journal and by 1976, was a publisher of Soseol Munye, another monthly literary magazine. Two years later, he founded a publishing company – Munyesa – which he headed until 1980. From 1985 until 1989, Jo worked for Hanguk Munhak Weekly. By then, he had entered a new stage of his literary career. Since that time, Jo’s main focus has been on modern Korean history. Jung Rae Jo’s novel Playing with Fire published in 1983 was a turning point, after which his attention has been on Korea’s national devastating drama – the division of one nation into two separate states with opposing ideologies. Through his novels, Jo expresses the tragedy of the divided Korean nation and searches for reconciliation.
Jung Rae Jo’s ten-volume novel, Taebaek Sanmaek, was published in South Korea between 1986-1989. It is his most significant work to date and, with searing realism and sincerity, it portrays the confusion and brutality of Korea’s first years after the Second World War and its liberation from Japanese colonisation. The Taebaek Sanmaek series was followed by Arirang in 1994 and The River Han in 2008, which went on to address more recent periods in Korea’s history.
Jung Rae Jo has won a number of prestigious prizes for his work, including: Hyundae Munhak Sang for Land of Exile in 1981; Taehanminguk Munhak Sang for Doors of Humanity in 1982; Soseol Munhak Jakpum Sang for Myeari Myeari in 1984; Tanje Munhak Sang for Taebaek Sanmaek in 1991; and Nosin Munhak Sang in 1998.
Some of Jung Rae Jo’s works have been turned into a film and an opera. His novel The Complete Writings of Buddhism was adapted as an opera in South Korea last year; and his novel Taebaek Sanmaek was made into a film, The Taebaek Mountains, by Im Kwon Taek in 1994. The film received Blue Dragon Award (1994) in Best Film category and was nominated for Golden Bear Award at 45th Berlin International Film Festival the following year. Finally, in November 2008, based on Taebaek Sanmaek novel, the Taebaek Mountain Range Literature Museum was opened in the village of Beolgyo in South Korea – where Jung Rae Jo’s novel is set.
Kim Jeongbin (김정빈)
Born in South Korea in 1952, Jeongbin Kim made his debut as a writer in 1980 and, by 1985, Kim’s book Tan became his first best-seller, selling more than 400,000 copies in South Korea. After that Kim has written more than 68 novels and short stories, both fiction and non-fiction, dedicated to Buddhism. Kim has been a dedicated student of Buddhism for more than 25 years and is now a renowned expert in South Korea, giving lectures and talks on Buddhist teachings, philosophy and its relevance to people’s daily lives.
Joh Myung Gye (조명계)
Joh Myung Gye is currently a professor at Hongik University in South Korea teaching MBA in Culture and Art. Joh received his PhD in Business Administration from Business School Lausanne in Switzerland. His academic and research interests include 17th to 19th century art markets, art marketing, and urban culture regeneration. In the past, to share and deepen his expertise in art markets, Joh worked as a vice-president for Sotheby’s Asia. At present, he runs the Centre for Artists Community voluntary organisation in South Korea which provides marketing education and mentoring for aspiring artists. In South Korea, two of Joh’s books, Culture Management and Strategic Marketing, were published in 2006. Joh Myung Gye also contributed as a translator for Super Collector: A Critique of Charles Saatchi, which was published in Korean in 2011.