The accolades for this fine, epic novel are deserved. In her second novel, author Min Jin Lee follows members of a family (and many equally fascinating ancillary characters) from the Japanese Occupation era in Korea, to the Korean diaspora in Japan, up to 1989. She manages this expansive timespan through third-person omniscient voice, allowing a kind of economy in the storytelling that would otherwise be limited to structural concerns. It’s both a feat of intricate character development and a rapid-moving plot that makes one love the people, even the antagonist, and live through a hundred fast-moving stories that kept pulling at me long after all the pages were turned. Much is written about her inspiration and about the story itself, so I leave this post brief, with a final urging to read this stunning book.
Hamburger Gim-Bap/Bus 1147
hamburger gim-bap and bus 1147 are 2 vignettes from the Korean-American writer, Mi Soon Burzlaff’s new book titled “Bravo your Life”.
The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee
What happens to life after you survive the atrocities and randomness of war? Chang-rae Lee examines the deep intricacies of this question and its ramifications in THE SURRENDERED, portraying three survivors (Korean War, China-Japan War) whose lives mesh at an orphanage somewhere in South Korea after liberation.
The Calligrapher’s Daughter, by Eugenia KIm
Author Anne Sibley O’Brien (The Legend of Hong Kil Dong: The Robin Hood of Korea) says:“I’ve just spent much of the weekend and all of today immersed in The Calligrapher’s Daughter, and it completely captivated me!
The Chinese Mirror, by Mirra Ginsburg
A father in ancient Korea travels to China and brings home something he’s never seen before—a mirror. Children’s picture book.
Archer’s Quest, by Linda Sue Park
Kevin, a middle schooler or a little younger, is a Korean American boy bored with just about everything, and has an ambivalent relationship with his math-genius father. By magic, the legendary Korean archer, Koh Chu-mong, from ancient Korean history (Koguryo period) appears in his room. (Young Adult)
Aloft, by Chang-Rae Lee
Lee departs from an Asian protagonist and examines the life of the emotionally bankrupt Italian-American Jerry and the people who surround him.
Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
A New York City saga peopled with insecure, wounded, and angry resentful characters.
A Small Revolution, by Jimin Han
In her startling debut novel, Jimin Han captures several genres at once—a terrifying thriller, a coming-of-age story of first love, a historical novel of 1980s Korea and Korean Americans, and a work of literature with an interesting structure and use of point-of-view that only ramps up the tension.
The Queens of Ktown by Angela Mi Young Hur
Told from the vantage point of the main character Cora, at age 16 and in her late 20s, the themes of this story are familiar.