AirTalk for February 10, 2012

A Korean-American storyteller drifts between two worlds

By Krys Lee

Drifting House

Author Krys Lee came to the United States from Korea with her parents when she was young and grew up in California, Washington State and England. As part of a wave of her reverse migration, she moved back to Seoul, South Korea and has spent many years rediscovering the language, culture and values of her family’s fractured heritage.

Her new book “Drifting House” is a collection of short stories that portray life in South Korea, North Korea and life as a Korean-American in the US. She uses nuanced characters to shed light on the difficulties of living an unanchored, unmoored existence in America and Korea – hence the book’s title. In Korea, she tells stories of people whose lives are threatened by civil strife, a military state and the fallout that split Korea apart. In America, the stories are set in small, cramped apartments and empty malls of Koreatowns where families struggle to forge new futures from old, broken pasts.

Lee’s unique point of view on life in a far part of the East and the West offers insight into how political corruption can take a personal, psychological turn, leaving us disillusioned with what we call home.

Guest:

Krys Lee, author of "Drifting House" (Viking)


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