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, October 7, 2008

Somebody's Daughter by Marie Myung-Ok Lee

Story of an unhappy Korean adoptee from the typical Minnesota Lutheran family. She goes to Korea in search of identity, pursuing a dream of her mother; transposed against the story of her birth mother and how the child came to be adopted. Structurally interesting, the journey of both mother and daughter, the former through memory, the latter through a search for roots, are juxtaposed in such a way as to propel the narrative forward, while also including both recent and modern Korean history. The writing is fluid, the scenes economical, the culture and language on full display in this English-written book. The structural divide is further contrasted with a contemporary voice laced with profanity, against the polar emotions that are extreme in the way that only Koreans can make them.

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