Korean Best Seller ‘Taebaek Mountain Range’ is to be Published in English and Russian Languages

Knowledge Pen is proud to announce the signing of a contract with Jo Jung Rae, a prominent contemporary Korean author, to translate and publish Taebaek Mountain Range (in Korean:태백산맥) into both English and Russian.

First published in Korea in the mid-Eighties, Taebaek Mountain Range is probably one of the most significant novels in contemporary Korean literature, selling more than seven million copies in Korea alone. The novel is on the must-read list of every Korean – from highly acclaimed politicians to students and teenagers – and is a fascinating examination of the country’s recent turbulent and dramatic history.

It has since been translated into Japanese, French and Chinese languages, bringing Jo Jung Rae’s book to international attention. Yet despite its evergreen popularity, it has not been available to English and Russian speaking readership – until now.

Taebaek Mountain Range tells the story of Korea’s partition into North and South after its liberation from the Japanese occupation at the end of the Forties. This period of tremendous social and political upheaval has defined Korea’s destiny as a divided country. For Jo Jung Rae, understanding Korea’s past holds the key to the future – to resolving the ongoing confrontation between North and South Korea.

But his unflinching account of Korea’s history is no textbook. The epic tale spans nearly a decade, and is a story told in human terms.  Set against such a gripping backdrop, Taebaek Mountain Range is a real page-turner – a rollercoaster ride of struggle, conviction, passion, love and sorrow – and, ultimately, hope.

So few of us in the West know the details of Korea’s recent past, yet as the country takes its place on the world stage, what has happened there contains lessons for us all. Once translated, Taebaek Mountain Range will give a unique insider’s insight into the country’s troubled history, while also examining the universal issues of how ideological conviction and political beliefs have the power break even the closest ties, and create bonds between total strangers.

Here at Knowledge Pen, we are certain that Taebaek Mountain Range is set to enthrall English and Russian-speaking readers, just as it has already gripped millions worldwide. The English translation of the first volume of the novel is due to be completed by October 2012.


When did you last read a book translated from another language?

Did you know that in 2007 only about 2% of books sold in the UK and in the US were translated into English from another language? The Guardian’s article ‘Lost: translation’ (16 November 2007) contrasts the situation in the UK and US with other European countries. It says that in Germany about 13% of books were translated from another language, in France 27%, in Spain 28%, and in Slovenia 70%. I wonder if situation with translated literature in the UK and US has changed much since then… What about South Korea? What is your estimate? What is the percentage of books translated into Korean from other language?

Meet us at the London Book Fair from 16 to 18th of April

We are participating at The London Book Fair that is held in Earls Court, London from 16 to 18 April this year. The LBF is probably the biggest spring fair for publishing and content industry professionals. We are very keen to contribute to the international character of the fair and to bring some Korean and Russian titles that might be interesting to the Western readers. Come and meet us at the stand X125.

Warm Welcome

Welcome to our new blog! Positioned in the UK and with strong connections to South Korea and Russia, Knowledge Pen provides excellent opportunities for authors, digital content creators and distributors to share and promote their content across borders. Contact us for your translation, editing, publishing and marketing needs. We specialise in working with English, Korean and Russian languages.