PRH imprint Hutchinson has acquired Euny Hong’s guide to nunchi, Korea’s emotional intelligence-style principles which publishers say could be “the next big international trend”.
Pippa Wright and Sarah Rigby acquired world rights from Lizzy Kremer at David Higham Associates. The Power of Nunchi: The Korean secret to happiness and success will be published in the UK on 5th September. The book was also acquired by John Siciliano at Penguin US for publication in November 2019 and has been sold on proposal to 11 publishers around the world.
Hong will share the secrets of nunchi, which translates as “eye measure”, the Korean art of gauging people’s feeling to build trust and connection. The publisher explained: “Korean parents believe the importance of nunchi to be on a par with teaching your children to look twice before crossing the road. With great nunchi, all doors are open to you, relationships improve and it feels like the world is on your side. Without it, you might get hit by something you never saw coming.”
Hong is the author of The Birth of Korean Cool (Simon & Schuster) and a journalist who has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and the Financial Times. A self-described “nunchi ninja”, aged 12, Hong moved with her family from the United States to South Korea, not knowing the language, and within a year was at the top of her class – a success she puts down to nunchi.
She explained: “If you’re thinking, ‘Oh dear, not another Eastern fad – I’ve already thrown away half my clothes thanks to Marie Kondo’, it’s not a fad. Koreans have been using nunchi to evade or overcome more than 5,000 years’ worth of slings and arrows. You don’t need to have money, connections or self-confidence to have nunchi transform your life. Just your eyes and ears.”
Wright and Rigby added: “We’ve been on the lookout for the next big international trend, and we are thrilled to have found it in nunchi, especially paired with such a skilled writer as Euny Hong.”