When Barbara Zitwer asked me the statistics on Korean thrillers and their translated English versions last week, I could not find answers through searching. Why? Because Korea's literary classification system does not have "thriller" as an independent category.
Barbara heads a New York-based agency for literature and films. She has helped create many of the recent success stories for translated Korean novels in the global market.
The astonishing news that "The Plotters" by novelist Kim Un-su was recently sold to Doubleday for a six-figure sum may signal the new discovery of Korean thrillers abroad. "The Plotters" set a new record at an enthusiastic global auction in the U.S.
A European publisher at the auction called Kim "the Korean Henning Mankell," after the legendary Swedish crime writer. Mankell (1948-2015) was best known for his Kurt Wallander mysteries, which are global bestsellers.
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