Korean American Books

Summaries and reviews of fiction and nonfiction books by Korean American authors,
books about Korean Americans and Korea, and Korean literature in English translation,
including some academic works and a sampling on the Korean War

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Secondhand World by Katherine Min

Written in short-short (2-3 pages) chapters with beautiful precision, stirring imagery, emotional depth and a compelling sense of imminent tragedy (opens with her in a burn ward, both parents dead), the story charts silences in a death-quieted household and the resulting isolation of all three family members. Isa has a remote mathematical father, beautiful expressive mother, a younger brother who dies at 4 (run over by a truck delivering mother's coveted dishwasher), a hippie girl and her family as friends, an albino boyfriend who makes her feel less other with sex, or perhaps it only seemed this way because it is depicted graphically.

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