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

Thursday, September 18, 2008

In the Absence of Sun: A Korean American Woman's Promise to Reunite Three Lost Generations of Her Family, by Helie Lee

Lee and her father travel to China to find her rediscovered Uncle, in an attempt to reunite him with his mother (Lee’s grandmother, the heroine of her first book). Lee's journey across the border and her own journey of identity and character, recovering from a failed love, unfold simultaneously. Her challenges of limitations and cultural prejudices are embodied in her relationship with the guide who will ultimately find and bring 9 members of the family out of North Korea. He professes his love for her, she eventually sees him as human and lovable, and herself, then, as well. The harrowing exploits and the complicated arrangements of two groups of refugees escaping North Korea are vivid, and the story about rescue, reunion, hope and love are enduring.

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