euny hong official web site.

The Birth of Korean Cool

The Birth of Korean Cool: How One Nation is Conquering the World Through Pop Culture is being published by Picador in the US, Simon & Schuster in the UK in August 2014. International rights sold include: Complex Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese.

Buy it at Barnes & Noble or Amazon:


“Incisive and humorous… An excellent case study of calculated entrepreneurial moxie.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Full of facts and entertaining to boot, it’s definitely a gem.”—

“An insightful book…[Hong’s] brief chapter on Korea’s han against Japan is both the best and most concise explanation I’ve read of the two countries’ complicated and ancient feud.”—Bloomberg Businessweek

“The rare book that’s hilariously funny and also makes you smarter about world economies.”—Vulture

“An incisive, colorfully written account of South Korea’s cultural ascent.”—Grantland

“Fabulously snarky…Hong is perfectly positioned to understand this complex Korean psyche while retaining enough distance (and cynicism) to evaluate it.”—Helen Brown, The Telegraph (UK)

“Highly entertaining.”—The Guardian (UK)

“Hong’s breezy book is a good place to begin to understand this rising nation.”—The Times (London)

“A witty chronicle of how pop culture shaped South Korea’s meteoric rise from a war-torn nation to a technological giant.”—The Forward

“Euny Hong playfully and insightfully dissects her native culture… There’s much more to it than just ‘Gangnam Style.’”— Charleston City Paper

“Hong is a funny and uber-snarky observer and is as clever as clever can be…[As] laugh-out-loud funny and as spicy and memorable as the best homemade kimchi.”—Library Journal

BNN (Canada’s business news network) “The Street” TV interview via Skype

The first of 9 listed in Kirkus’s BOOKS EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT:

NEWSWEEK EUROPE / original piece by Euny: The Ultimate National Marketing Ploy (15 Aug)

THE TIMES OF LONDON / review: “breezy” and “amusing” (11 Aug)

Bloomberg TV, August 8, 2014 / featured in piece on KCON, Korean trends by Jeff Yang (8 Aug)

 Wall St Journal Live with Mary Kissel:  Sep. 19, 2013 (HERE IS THE LINK)

wsj screenshot news segment (August something 2014)

The Economist book review, August 7, 2014

The Telegraph (UK) calls my book “fabulously snarky.”

Paris Review runs an excerpt, August 6, 2014

Conde Nast Traveler (UK)

Pop Matters, 9/10. “Euny Hong’s new book The Birth of Korean Cool is a sparkling gem that falls into the must-read category… engaging, easy to read and occasionally humorous and light-hearted, it’s also a fact-filled investigative study…a superb overview of the Korean pop culture phenomenon…a satisfying and thought-provoking book by a first-rate journalist whose style is irresistible and informative all at once.”

Leonard Lopate, NPR (radio) interview.

Me on Ronan Farrow Daily, July 31, 2014

Review sympa de Businessweek: “The country is driven, she explains, by han, a kind of rage at injustice that’s tended and stoked as an engine of productivity. Her brief chapter on Korea’s han against Japan is both the best and most concise explanation I’ve read of the two countries’ complicated and ancient feud.” (Brendan Greeley)

Pacific Standard: “facinating.”

July        MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE / interview / Canadian weekly

Toronto Star interview.

Maclean’s interview (Canada)

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, August 2014: “ I always love a good immigrant story: a tale of a young person, transplanted from the “old country” and learning the ropes (and usually teaching them to her parents) in the new. But journalist Euny Hong’s The Birth of Korean Cool is that familiar tale’s obverse: at age 12, the Chicago-born American moved with her parents back to the South Korea of their birth. And like the displaced Hong herself, the Korea of 1985 grew up fast: it became, in short order, the nation of Samsung, of newly wealthy executives, and now, Hong contends, it has become the crown prince of Asian pop culture. A kind of memoir of a culture as well as of an individual life, Hong’s first nonfiction book (she previously wrote the novel Kept: A Comedy of Sex and Manners) mixes personal memoir with interviews and research to produce a rollicking, delightful, wise-guy story of how both she and her ancestral home became the cultural icons they are today.” –Sara Nelson

One of’s Best Book Club Picks for August

Advance Praise

“Full of insight and shocking facts, The Birth Of Korean Cool is a hilarious, gutsy, eye-opening account of Korean drive and success. I couldn’t put it down. Euny Hong is a force of nature.”—Amy Chua, Yale Law Professor and author of The Triple Package and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

“If you’re not fascinated by Korea yet, you damn well should be. The most innovative country on earth deserves a hilarious and poignant account on the order of Euny Hong’s The Birth of Korean Cool. Her phat beats got Gangam Style and then some.”—Gary Shteyngart

“A funny, iconoclastic Korean-American journalist and author turns her skewering lens on her own culture….Hong gives a thoughtful, self-deprecating and sly analysis…A pleasing mix of Margaret Cho, Sarah Vowell and a pinch of Cory Doctorow.”—Kirkus Reviews

Pre-order from Amazon, or Barnes & Noble, or someone, or I will never speak to you again.

In the US:                        In the UK:


Birth of Korean Cool.1.29





One Response to “The Birth of Korean Cool”
  1. Dan Debowy says

    Im going with Outer Limits