A young girl discovers that her mother is really her stepmother (who hates her) and is tossed out of house. She assumes a life of fringe living around a G.I. base (early 1960s?) in the worst parts of town, surrounded by the misfits and abandoned who scrabble for a hard life in a tough competitive world. She becomes a bar girl in the worst way and eventually makes her way to Hawaii and refuge with a friend’s child. Violence is depicted with such graphic detail that the author was criticized for extremity/graphic treatment of sexual violence with the argument that it begets further violence. It is a pitifuland difficult tale of abuse and hardship, told well, with a memorable protagonist.
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 Lucky Gourd Shop by Joanna Catherine Scott
This fictionalized story tells the sorrowful story of a simple orphan girl, in postwar Korea (mid-late 1950s) who works in a gourd shop.
The Search by Bobby F. Griffin
A Korean war vet returns after 21 years to search for the houseboy, a onetime street urchin, he had during the war.