Quiet Odyssey: A Pioneer Korean Woman in America, by Mary Paik Lee

February 4, 2010

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. Her family were among the earliest emigres to California and her father was reduced to an agricultural laborer. They faced harsh living conditions and always mistaken for Japanese or Chinese because of U.S. ignorance about Korea at the time, she suffered much racism, particularly after Pearl Harbor. Her courageous spirit is the focus as she fought for civil rights and early social change. Detailed historical and contextual matter by Sucheng Chan enriches this memoir.