Alumna E.J. Koh '13 to Publish Debut Novel with Tin House

Emily Johnson
May 31, 2022
E.J. Koh

The debut novel of poet, translator, and alumna E.J. Koh ’13 will be published by Tin House Books, arriving in summer/fall 2023. Titled The Liberators, the novel follows a Korean family affected by the decisions of the past in love and war.

Koh's memoir, The Magical Language of Others, was published by Tin House Books in 2020. The memoir weaves together the stories of generations of women in Koh’s family. It won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award, the 2021 Washington State Book Award for biography/memoir, the 2022 Association for Asian American Studies Book Award, and was longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award. 

This year, Koh joined the writer’s room for Apple TV+’s adaptation of Pachinko, the epic historical novel by Min Jin Lee. Recently renewed for a second season, Pachinko follows a Korean family across several generations. As a story of Korean diaspora, it bears clear resonance with Koh’s own work. Koh joined the show as a staff writer, and received sole credit on the fourth episode, “Chapter Four.”

Koh is also the author of the poetry collection A Lesser Love (Louisiana State U. Press, 2017), Pleiades Editors Prize for Poetry Winner. She is the co-translator of Yi Won’s poetry collection The World’s Lightest Motorcycle (Zephyr Press, 2021). Koh has received fellowships from the American Literary Translators Association, MacDowell, and Kundiman. Her poems, stories, and translations have appeared in AGNIThe AtlanticBoston ReviewLos Angeles Review of BooksPOETRYSlateWorld Literature Today, and elsewhere. Koh earned her MFA at Columbia University in New York for Creative Writing and Literary Translation. Koh is a PhD candidate at the University of Washington in English Literature studying Korean American literature, history, and film.