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Ten thousand sorrows : the extraordinary journey of a Korean War orphan
Elizabeth Kim
Adult Nonfiction E184.K6 K44 2000

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In a transcendent account of one woman's refusal to yield to the oppressive dictates of religion and custom in two vastly different cultures, Kim traces her evolution from a traumatized childhood in postwar Korea to her emotional awakening as a young abused wife in America. Currently a journalist based in California, she re-creates her uncle and grandfather's gruesome "honor killing" of her rebellious mother, who returned to her village with the baby of an American GI--a grim event that launched Kim's painful life as a tainted "half-breed" in a society that reveres its ancestry and traditions. Eventually, Kim was left at a Christian orphanage where disinterested American missionaries provided a steady diet of hymns, biblical parables, small bowls of rice and little else. Desperate to be loved despite her forbidden mixed-race heritage, Kim hoped her fortune would change when she was adopted by a white, fundamentalist American couple. However, their pious tyranny was matched only by the harsh, racist abuse Kim endured at school from her classmates, described in simple heartrending prose. Seeking to escape, she married the young deacon at her parents' church, who turned out to be an abusive schizophrenic. Fortunately, Kim avoids melodrama in chronicling her flight with her daughter from her tormentor, instead rendering her arduous climb to emotional and spiritual renewal with unflinching honesty. While this skillful, understated narrative may not quite live up to its publisher's comparison to Angela's Ashes, it is a stirring account of one woman's hard-earned victory over prejudice and tragedy. Agent, Patti Breitman. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

California-based journalist Kim recounts her lifeDthe horror of witnessing her birth mother's "honor killing" in Korea, her emotionally sterile childhood in a Christian fundamentalist household in America, and a quasi-arranged marriage to an abusive husband. She conveys the almost soap-operatic quality of these events in a simple but powerful reportorial style that puts the events in even harsher focus. Yet this is also a story of hope, redemption, the healing power of motherhood (daughter Leigh contributed short passages), and self-acceptance. Kim's work has profound implications for the practice of international adoption and the unexamined problems adoptees may face, such as exotic diseases, debilitating culture shock, and incompetent parenting. It also provides inspiration and coping strategies for those facing similarly harrowing life experiences. An emotionally stirring work, this book is recommended for public libraries.DAntoinette Brinkman, SW Indiana Mental Health Ctr., Evansville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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