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. I am reluctant to talk about the actual story so as not to ruin its surprising drama, though it has been often reviewed, but do want to say it’s a writer’s book and a compelling read as well. Who said fine writing couldn’t take one’s breath away with suspense and action?
I have been inspired, once more, to re-learn my native tongue.
Last year my husband and I hosted a wonderful thanksgiving with friends and my mom.
I Just Can’t With This
Ever since my children were born, I have lost the ability to watch anything other than comedies.
A Gesture Life by Chang-rae Lee
Rich language describes a Korean-Japanese-American former WWII medic living quietly in Connecticut in a small provincial town.
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.