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'Kim Ji-young, Born 1982,' most-sold S. Korean literary book overseas

All News 11:11 January 18, 2022

SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- "Kim Ji-young, Born 1982" was the most popular South Korean literary book overseas over the recent five years, data showed Tuesday.

According to the data from the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, the feminist novel by Cho Nam-joo was translated into 10 different languages and sold more than 300,000 copies during the 2016-20 period. The book's Japanese translation, in particular, sold more than 200,000 copies since its release in 2018.

Coming in second was Han Kang's 2016 Man Booker International Prize winning novel "The Vegetarian," which sold more than 160,000 copies in 13 foreign languages.

"Almond" by Son Won-pyeong sold more than 90,000 copies in Japan and Jung Yoo-jung's "The Origin of Species" more than 20,000 copies in Brazil.

The data was based on the sales of 492 sorts of South Korean literary translations, which account for about 75 percent of 658 sorts of Korean books of the kind published abroad with support from the state agency. Of them, 34 sorts of books sold more than 5,000 copies during the five-year period with 16 sorts achieving the feat within a year of their release in 2020.

A German translation of Kim Young-ha's "A Murderer's Guide to Memorization," released in February 2020, sold more than 10,000 copies by the end of the year, boosted by its win of two German literary awards the same year.

This image, provided by the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, shows book covers of "Kim Ji-young, Born 1982," a popular South Korean novel translated in 10 different foreign languages. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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