1963 photo taken for
"The Martyred" book cover


novelist, TV journalist, agent






The Martyred
1964 National Book Award nominee
Publisher: Braziller (1964)
Penguin Classics (2011)

More about The Martyred

The Innocent
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (1968)

Lost Names: Scenes from a Korean Boyhood
Publisher: Praeger (1970)
University of California Press (1998, 2011)

More about Lost Names


1932: March 13th. Born in Hamheung, Korea.

Attended primary and secondary schools in North and South Korea

1950-54: Military Service: Republic of Korea Marines and Army. Honorably discharged as first lieutenant, Infantry, December 1954.

1955-59: Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt.

1960: Married Penelope Groll. They subsequently had 2 children and 4 grand-children.

1959-60: M.A., The Johns Hopkins University. The Johns Hopkins University Graduate Fellow

1960-62: M.F.A., The University of Iowa. University of Iowa Writers Workshop Fellow

1962: Ford Foundation Foreign Area Fellowship

1963: M.A., Harvard University

1963-64:Instructor of English, California State University (Long Beach)

1964: Became a naturalized U.S. citizen

1964: THE MARTYRED, fiction, Braziller, New York

1964-70: Associate Professor of English, University of Massachusetts (Amherst)

1966: Guggenheim Fellow

1968: THE INNOCENT, fiction, Houghton Mifflin, Boston

1970: LOST NAMES, fiction, Praeger, New York

1970-71: Visiting Professor of English, Syracuse University

1974: First Award, Modern Korean Literature Translation Awards

1975-77: Visiting Professor of English, California State University (San Diego)

1978: National Endowment for the Arts Literary Fellow

1981: 200 Years of Christianity in Korea, Reporter-Narrator, KBS-TV, Seoul

1982: Epilogue Korean ed., The God That Failed, ed., R. Grossman, Pumyang Publishers, Seoul

1981-83: Fulbright Professor of English, Seoul National University, Korea

1982: Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott, Translator, English into Korean, Omun Gak Publishers, Seoul

1982-83: The Chosun Ilbo (The Korea Daily), Columnist, Seoul

The Korea Herald (an English language daily), Columnist, Seoul

1983: The Korean War, Commentator, KBS-TV, Seoul

1983: A BLUE BIRD, children's story, Dong Hwa Publishers, Seoul

1983: Touch the Earth by T.C. McLuhan, Translator, English into Korean, Pumyang Co., Seoul

1983: Picture World 100 (20 vols., original Korean children's stories), Translator, Korean into English, Dong Hwa Publishers, Seoul

1984: On Japan: Essays in Images , Reporter-Narrator, KBS-TV, Seoul

1985-2002: Founder of TRANS-LIT, AGENCY, Inc. Represented American authors/publishers in Korea. Contracted for more than 250 titles.

1985: IN SEARCH OF LOST YEARS, Essays, Suh Moon Dang, Publishers, Seoul

1985: On "The Killing Field," Reporter-Interviewer, KBS-TV, Seoul

1985: Reflections on the Wartime Massacres/The Korean War, Reporter-Narrator, KBS-TV, Seoul

1986: The Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway, Translator, English into Korean, Si-da-yong-o-sa, Inc., Seoul

1986: Three Little Chipmunks and the Sly Old Fox by Richard E. Walker, Translator, English into Korean, Si-sa-yong-o-sa, Inc., Seoul

1987: On the Koreans in China/Manchuria, Reporter-Narrator, KBS-TV, Seoul

1988: In Search of Koreans in the Soviet Union, Reporter-Narrator, KBS-TV, Seoul

1989: The Great Trans-Siberian Railway, Reporter-Narrator, KBS-TV, Seoul

1989: IN SEARCH OF "LOST" KOREANS IN CHINA AND RUSSIA, Photo-essays, Eulyoo Publishing Co., Seoul

2009: Died June 23

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Richard E. Kim, 77, died June 23, 2009 at his home in Shutesbury, Massachusetts, surrounded by his family.

Kim, a celebrated novelist, essayist, and professor of literature, published his first novel, "The Martyred," in 1964 to wide critical acclaim. It was nominated for a National Book Award in 1965 and was translated into 14 languages. In his native Korea, it was made into a play, an opera, and a film. It was followed by "The Innocent" in 1968 and "Lost Names: Scenes from a Korean Boyhood" in 1970.

Kim Eun Kook, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was born in 1932 in Hamheung in North Korea. After serving in the Republic of South Korea military during the Korean War, he came to the United States in 1955.

He was educated at Middlebury College in Vermont, where he studied political science and history, 1955-59; at Johns Hopkins University (M.A. in writing, 1960); at the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop (M.F.A., 1962); and at Harvard University (M.A. in Far Eastern languages and literature, 1963).

His academic experience included various professorships in English at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Syracuse University, San Diego State University, and at Seoul National University, where he was a Fulbright professor from 1981 to 83.

His many awards and honors included a Ford Foundation Foreign Area Fellowship (1962-63), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1966), and a National Endowment for the Arts Literary Fellowship (1978-79).

He was the founder and president of Trans-Lit Agency, a literary agency devoted to establishing international copyrights for works being published in Korea.

His photo essay book, "Lost Koreans in China and the Soviet Union: Photo-Essays," was published in 1989. His documentary work, for KBS-TV of Seoul, included "200 Years of Christianity in Korea" (1981), "The Korean War" (1983), "On Japan" (1984), "Reflections on the Wartime Massacres" (1985), "A Passage to Manchuria" (1987), "In Search of Lost Koreans in the Soviet Union" (1988), and "The Great Trans-Siberian Railway" (1989). He was a columnist for "The Korea Herald" and "The Chosun Ilbo" (Korea Daily) in Seoul, 1981-84.

He is survived by his wife Penelope, his son David of Washington, D.C., and his daughter Melissa, of Portland, Maine, as well as his sister Sylvia Lee of Walnut Creek, California, his sister Eun Kyoung Ahn of Seoul, Korea, his brother Eun Yong Kim, of Orinda, California, four grandchildren, Anna, Jackson, Ryan and Christian, and five nieces and nephews.

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