Rich language describes a Korean-Japanese-American former WWII medic living quietly in Connecticut in a small provincial town. Because of his past in the Pacific War post of Burma in 1945, and the Korean comfort women there, he lives a gesture life, one where all is sacrificed in order to fit in and have surface equanimity. His adopted Japanese daughter hates him; guesses that she serves some purpose in his life that has nothing to do with her. Townfolk support the lead characters with finesse–he avoids passion and loses love and living. Smoothly transitions to flashbacks from present-tense daily contemporary life. Lee excels in expressing inner emotion, grander themes and gravitas in soliloquies that ache the heart. Eloquent writing, dense and thoughtful.
I have been inspired, once more, to re-learn my native tongue.
Korean-American Population 1910 – 2010
KoreanAmericanStory.org compiled the data from the Decennial US Census to determine the number of Korean-American population from 1910 – 2010, broken down by State.
It is a fascinating overview of the history of Korean-American immigration, but to better understand the political and historical reasons behind these immigration patterns
My Korean American Story: Matthew Salesses
I am reading I Wish for You a Beautiful Life right now, for the first time, suggested to me by another Korean adoptee. It is a book of letters from birth mothers to their babies, letters I wish had come packaged with us.
Modern Korean Literature, Peter H. Lee
Translations of contemporary (up to 1990) Korean writings include poetry, fiction, essays, and drama, predominantly focus on the difficult, tragic and resilient history of Korea during the twentieth-century.
Quiet Odyssey: A Pioneer Korean Woman in America, by Mary Paik Lee
Born in 1900, Lee’s aristocratic Christian family fled Korea in 1905, fearful of the plight of their famiy with Japan’s growing political influence and imminent colonial takeover.
Jungsoon, by Myosik Park
A fictional account of two women who fight through years of personal and national devastation, from the Japanese occupation through the Korean War, surviving with tenacity.
Century of the Tiger: One Hundred Years of Korean Culture in America 1903-2003, by Jenny Ryun Foster et al
This issue of the Manoa Journal is a centennial celebration of literature of Korean Americans.
The Grass Roof by Younghill Kang
Autobiographical novel of a scholar’s son’s coming of age in small village during the Japanese occupation, though that is felt with some distance.
The Interpreter by Suki Kim
A Korean American novel and mystery about 24-year old Suzy Park who is a court interpreter estranged from her past.