Bae Suah

from Jul 1, 2018 – Dec 31, 2018

Bae Suah
  • Country: South Korea
  • Born: 1965
  • Latest publication:
    Snake and Water, Seoul 2017
  • Awards:
    2003 Hankook Ilbo Literary Prize
    2004 Tongsŏ Literary Prize

“Several times already now, she’d had the idea of visiting the houses she’d left behind. Grasshoppers spring up around her feet, transparent carapaces propelled into the air as she crosses the dirt yard and approaches the cement buildings, their desiccated structures hard and dry as stale bread, and riddled with holes. She peers through the window into the ground-floor flat, where a naked bulb casts a cold, orange light.” From: Recitation, translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith




“One of the most radical and experimental writers working in Korea today”

After studying chemistry, Bae Suah – in Korea, the family name is put before the first name – worked as a state official at the airport passenger boarding. After making her literary debut in 1993 with the short story “The Dark Room of Nineteen Eighty-Eight”, she went on to pen several novels and short story collections. Bae has also translated numerous books from German into Korean, including works by W.G. Sebald, Franz Kafka, and Jenny Erpenbeck. She received the Hanguk Ilbo literary prize in 2003, and the Tongseo literary prize in 2004. Her novel “Nowhere to Be Found” was longlisted for the PEN Translation Prize and the Best Translated Book Award. Bae Suah has been described as “one of the most radical and experimental writers working in Korea today.”