With this 1996 debut novel, Chang-rae Lee entered the pantheon of literary best-sellers. Part mystery, part spy story, part immigrant experience, the story examines the character and identity of Henry Park. With this character, Lee begins his theme of studying the externally remote, yet internally tortured man—one who is haunted by trauma or tragedy in the past, most often relating to events in Korea. The complexity of this novel, combined with Lee’s signature muscular prose and precision sentences, have made it a continued excellent read.
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.
Under the Black Umbrella: Voices from Colonial Korea, 1910-1945, by Hildi Kang
A memorable collection of essays, letters and narratives by citizens who lived through the Japanese occupation of Korea.
Land of Exile: Contemporary Korean Fiction, by Marshall R. Pihl
An anthology of 12 post-1945 Korean fiction, in translation, includes brief biographies of each author.
Fifteen Years Among the Top-Knots: Life in Korea, by Lillias Underwood
Lillias Horton was a doctor who went to Korea in 1888 as a Christian humanitarian missionary, whereupon she married one of the first Presbyterian missionaries to land in Korea, Horace Underwood. They traveled throughout Korea for fifteen years,and were connected to the Korean court.
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.