John Kang

Pop culture exports from South Korea have been the all rage throughout Asia since the late 1990s, long before Psy dominated music charts worldwide with his Gangnam Style.

A bestseller in South Korea with more than two million copies sold, this is also a nominee for next month's Indie Next List's Great Reads from Booksellers You Trust. And it is about an egg-laying hen.

Aspiring singer Shimali De Silva was surprised when she got through to the finals of an international Korean pop talent competition last year. Her surprise quickly turned to shock, however, when organisers took her to see a plastic surgeon, who told her, "You're 14, but you look 30", and proposed major changes to her appearance.

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