Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation

Kim Cho-yeop in conversation with Andrés Felipe Solano

Speculative fabulations /K-Lit
March 26

Sunday, 13h



Casa del Lector
Auditorio Casa del Lector

Perfect worlds

The fact that Kim Cho-yeop trained as a scientist is perhaps what sets her fiction apart from the rest. She enjoys turning intangible ideas such as memory, emotion, the mind and relationships into tangibles. Although she writes about the abstract components of life in a distinctively scientific language, along the way, she allows herself to uncover new issues that help readers form their own opinions on technological advances, human marginalisation, feelings and memories. The fact that her work is circumscribed to the genre of science fiction hasn’t stopped critics praising its lyricism, which so powerfully conveys a profound understanding of the world. In her only work translated into Spanish to date, If We Can't Move at the Speed of Light (Temas de hoy, 2022), her stories take place in worlds in which society is ruled by pragmatism and efficiency, and the great scientific questions have been resolved. Nevertheless, her protagonists ask whether progress is really an ally that can help us understand what we lack or if it is to blame for our despondency, or whether we should settle for a functional life, even though it is bereft of love.

Kim Cho-yeop (Ulsan, 1993) is a scientist. In 2017, two of her short stories won the first and second Korea Literary Prize for Science Fiction. After obtaining her master's degree in Biochemistry, she became the most surprising voice of the genre in Korea. She has sold 200,000 copies of her first book of short stories, another 100,000 copies of her first novel, and three film directors are currently working on adapting her stories for the big screen. Her book of short stories If We Can't Move at the Speed of Light (Temas de hoy, 2022) is the first of her works to be translated into Spanish.

Andrés Felipe Solano (Bogota, 1977) is the author of several novels, including Save Me (Sálvame), Joe Louis (Alfaguara, 2007), The Crow Brothers (Los hermanos Cuervo) (Demipage, 2015) and Neon Cemeteries (Cementerios de neón) (Tusquets, 2016), together with other non-fiction works including Minimum Wage, Living with Nothing (Salario mínimo, vivir con nada) (Tusquets, 2015), Korea: Notes from the Tightrope (Corea: apuntes desde la cuerda floja) (Barrett, 2019), which won the Colombian Narrative Library Award and was a finalist in the Bucheon Diaspora Literary Award in 2021, and Days of Fever (Los días de la fiebre) (Temas de Hoy, 2020). In 2010, Granta, the English magazine, chose him as one of the 22 best young storytellers writing in Spanish. He has published articles and stories in The New York Times Magazine, McSweeney's, Granta and El País, among others. In 2020 he was invited to participate as a guest writer in the 10th Busan Art Biennale in South Korea. He has lived in Seoul for the past ten years or so. His latest book is a novel called Gloria (Sexto Piso, 2023).

With the collaboration of the Korean Cultural Centre

In collaboration with
Main Festival Collaborator
Magnetic loop

Magnetic loop

Sign language

Sign language

Reduced mobility

Reduced mobility

Amplified sound

Amplified sound

Accesibility icons provided by Teatro Accesible