HJ Lee, President and Co-Founder of KoreanAmericanStory.org, started the event by saying how significant it was to be celebrating accomplished Korean American women in the current times we are living. The variety that is reflected in each of their voices was duly honored and highlighted.
Professor Minsoo Kang, who teaches European history at University of Missouri-St. Louis, opened up the stage with an introduction for 5 brilliant Korean American women authors to share their personal stories at the Celebration of Korean American Women Authors event, held on Dec. 8, 2017.
In the videos, you can watch each author Patty Yumi Cottrell, Jimin Han, Min Jin Lee, Yoojin Grace Wuertz, and Jung Yun embark on a sundry storytelling journey, inducing human emotion tremors all throughout the inspiring evening, followed by a Q&A session with the audience at the end.
Each asked to share a story on stage by our moderator Vivian Lee, Patty Yumi Cottrell began and shared about her 17-year-old obsession with Fiona Apple, and how less painful it was to talk to an idea of a person than an actual being.
Jimin Han talked about her childhood experience of constantly having to move, but how that eventually allowed her to connect deeply with a friend and pen pal, who is Theresa Choh-Lee, Co-Founder of KoreanAmericanStory.org.
Min Jin Lee proudly stood on stage to speak about her previous fear of public speaking and inability to make eye contact with others, and how she eventually overcame that fear out of love for the Korean people and a desire to be a voice for them.
Yoojin Grace Wuertz recounted memories of her gym class clumsiness, and used them as metaphors to say how sometimes slow isn’t bad, good things take time, and we can hope in the waiting.
Lastly, Jung Yun told the audience about her experience riding a love boat right after the tragedy of 9/11, yet how this event served as the only time she could remove herself from work, and read from dawn to dusk when she finally realized how she had been confusing pleasing others as her own happiness.
No two people, no two stories can ever be the same. Such can be said of authors and their unique writing processes.
In this segment of Celebration of Korean American Women Authors, moderator of the panel Vivian Lee asked how each one was able to find their unique color, navigate their own story, and the specific techniques used to tell it.
The authors are real and honest, and give answers that are surprising and just so human.
Add their books to your holiday reading list!
Sorry to Disrupt the Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell
A Small Revolution by Jimin Han
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Everything Belongs to Us by Yoojin Grace Wuertz
Shelter by Jung Yun