a measure of how we are.

food. mom’s way of encouraging the family is to cook food in the old kitchen of the house. whenever the family encounters unbearable grief, mom steps into her old-fashioned kitchen. the men of the house. father, whom she loved but was sometimes difficult to understand, and her sons, who were growing into adults — whenever they disappointed her, she would go into the kitchen, her steps feeble. as she did when she was in shock, at the daughter lashing back at her, “you have no idea!” by the fuel hole of the furnace, or the shelf lined with upside-down bowls, inside the old-fashioned kitchen of that house, that was the only place where mom could endure the grief that has invaded her heart. and there she would regain her courage, as if the kitchen spirit had breathed a new energy into her. when she was delighted, when her heart ached, when someone left, or came back, mom made food, set the table, made the family sit down, and pushed the bowl, piled with food, in front of the one who was leaving or had returned. offering, endlessly, “have some more. try some of this. eat before it gets cold. have that, too.” (shin kyung-sook, the girl who wrote loneliness, 299)

sometimes, i joke that someone should marry me because i’d make a great wife (kinda), but that’s a joke only i’m allowed to make. (don’t conflate a woman’s love for cooking into something more than just that — a love for cooking. similarly, don’t put a woman down and call her a “bad” woman for not liking or not knowing how to cook.)

i say “kinda” because it’s really mostly because i love to cook for people — and not a general people-plural but my people — and i’d love cooking for my partner. there’s just something so satisfying about feeding someone you love, but, alas, i don’t have a partner yet (am not even close, sobs), so, these days, i cook for my parents, and i cook for friends.

sometimes, i also joke that it’s when i’ve come into your kitchen and cooked you a meal that we know we’ve become good friends. i have no idea how common this is with other people, but i tend to find myself cooking in friends’ kitchens often, from full-on meals to simple snacks to blue apron boxes, and it’s honestly one of my favorite things to do. it’s fun if we’re cooking together, but it’s also just as fun if i’m cooking and the friend is hanging out with a glass of wine — or even if said friend is busy with a deadline and had originally planned to cook me dinner but couldn’t get as much done during the afternoon as hoped.

as long as there is food to cook and share and eat with people i love, i’m happy.

and, so, it’s no surprise that i did some cooking while in san francisco last week, nothing fancy or elaborate, just simple, homey food with my best friend. these kitchen moments were some of my favorite moments from the week.

i like my omelettes plain, fluffy, and cheesy. i use two eggs, whisk them up with chopsticks in a bowl (or a mug or a clear glass), adding a splash of milk (never skim, never fat-free, sometimes cream, sometimes half-and-half) and a tiny pinch of salt, and i whisk it all together until the yolks and whites are broken, the milk combined, and the whole thing looks like it would produce a soft, fluffy omelette. (i don’t know how else to describe it.)

i use a non-stick pan, heat it on medium-high heat until it’s just hot enough that a pat of butter will hit the pan and immediately start to foam but not so hot that the butter will brown — you want a clean, yellow omelette. after i’ve spread the butter to coat the pan, i give my egg mixture one last quick whisk (in case it’s settled while buttering my pan) and pour it into the center, tilting the pan as necessary to spread the eggs in an even layer. i lower the heat slightly (again! clean, yellow omelette!) and smile at that satisfying sizzle of eggs meeting melted butter on a hot surface.

when the omelette has just barely started to set but still looks wet, i use two spatulas to fold a fourth of the omelette over itself, then do the same on the other end, before liberally dumping grated cheese down the middle and folding the omelette in half again. once the cheese has melted, which only takes a minute or so, the omelette is done. it should be eaten immediately.

something i do love about california is the easy access to tillamook cheese — and different kinds of tillamook cheese, at that. tillamook is harder to come by on the east coast, but it’s one of my favorite cheeses — clean flavors, nothing snooty or fancy, just good cheese that makes for great grilled cheese sandwiches, grits, omelettes, etcetera.

i’d say that part of it is also just nostalgia, though i don’t know what i’m nostalgic for when it comes to tillamook, given that i didn’t grow up eating much cheese and kraft singles were all you could find in my house growing up. (i still love kraft singles.) and, yet, somehow, tillamook taps into a part of my brain that finds it comforting and seeks it out because it associates it with warmth and comfort and familiarity, all emotional responses i want when it comes to cheese in general.

tillamook is also a great cheese to use when making cheez-its. which are totally worth it, by the way.

i am also obsessed with these turkey ricotta meatballs. they’re from julia turshen’s small victories, and not only are they fucking delicious (and don’t require eggs or breadcrumbs), but i also love the story behind them — that they were the first thing julia cooked for her wife, grace, that grace didn’t even have a pot in her apartment, so julia made the meatballs at her own apartment and brought a pot and ingredients for sauce and a box of pasta to cook for grace at her apartment. stories like these are what make food so special and one reason i cook — because food is all about story, and one of the things we do with food is share stories, rewrite bad stories, and create new ones together.

[thursday recs] a case for reading.

i believe that literature flows somewhere behind order and definition. amidst all that remains unsolved. perhaps literature is about throwing into disarray what has been defined and putting it into order to make it flow anew for those in the back of history, the weak, the hesitant. about making a mess of things, all over again. is this, in the end, an attempt at order as well? is it now my time to look back? (shin kyung-sook, the girl who wrote loneliness, 58)

this week, i started reading tiger pelt (leaf-land press, 2016) by annabelle kim, and it’s a historical fiction set in mid-20th century korea. it follows multiple characters, one of whom is a young girl, who is kidnapped and pressed into service by the japanese during world war ii, and, as i read her section, i very much wanted to throw up, to put the book down and walk away.

basically, what the japanese did during world war ii was to recruit girls from korea, china, the phillippines, all over southeast asia, telling them that they would be working in factories and providing valuable contributions to imperial japan and its war effort. instead, the girls were forced into sex slavery, raped multiple times every night by soldiers, each of whom was given a set number of minutes — and, if the girls weren’t being tricked into signing up, they were being taken and abducted.

hildi kang gets into this in her book, under the black umbrella (cornell university press, 2001), a collection of oral histories from koreans who lived during the japanese occupation of korea, a time during which japan made the korean language illegal, forced koreans to take japanese names and worship at shinto temples, and tried simultaneously to cannibalize koreans by playing on their similarities and to keep koreans as the colonized other. in some ways, it is an interesting relationship to study now, decades removed, though the horrors of what imperial japan did to korea (and the rest of asia) aren't softened much at all, especially when you read an account like the one this woman, kim p. [anonymous], gives in under the black umbrella:

the men lined up outside the barracks doors where the women were, and took their turn. the girl just lay there inside. each man had a given amount of time, about seven minutes. if he wasn’t out in time, the next man went right in and yanked him out. each door had a long line of men waiting their turns. […]

the woman, on the wall near her head, used chalk or a pencil to make a mark for each soldier she served. she thought she would be paid that way, but it turned out they were not paid anything at all. (kim p. [anonymous], 135)

japan has continued to deny that this happened, claiming that the women were volunteers and taking some very deliberate actions in attempts to whitewash its history of this horrendous black mark, from trying to remove statues erected in remembrance of comfort women to trying to convince american textbook publisher mcgraw hill to revise text about comfort women in its history textbooks. these women and their supporters continue to show up every wednesday in protest in front of the japanese embassy in seoul.

the point of this post isn’t to get into japan’s war crimes, though, but this: as i was reading tiger pelt, i thought, this is why we need stories. we need stories that twist us up inside. we need stories that remind us of the horrors that humanity is capable of committing. we need stories that remember what happened, what a country and its people suffered, how that country and its people survived.

we need these stories as much as we need the stories that affirm the goodness, the generosity of humanity, because we need to remember that we all have monsters inside of us, that we are all capable of violence and grotesque behavior. we need to remember this because, if we allow ourselves to forget or pretend that we are above this ugliness and slide into indifference or apathy or a sense of moral superiority, we are more susceptible to making a farce of human brutality and, in a weird twist, letting it slide.

this post is kind of a cheat because i’m only 40-some pages into tiger pelt, so this isn’t an actual review of the book. it's also admittedly kind of poorly planned (these photographs, what?) because i actually had another author i wanted to recommend today (and had already shot the accompanying photos), but i unfortunately didn’t finish reading her book because i’ve been spending my week working on a personal essay and another blog post, which means i didn’t get to read as much as i’d have liked.

this is honestly something that’s been weighing on me these recent weeks, though, and starting tiger pelt simply triggered something in me. also, considering our cheeto president who does not read, i just really wanted to throw this out there: read. just read. read broadly. read intelligently. read intentionally.

read something that makes you uncomfortable, that makes you squirm and want to vomit because it twists you up and horrifies and outrages you. read something that challenges your worldview. read something that comes from another country, another culture, another language.

maybe you’ll find that this reading brings you back to your already existing worldview, your faith, your convictions, but the point isn’t to force yourself to change. the point is to consider. it is to take yourself out of your bubble (and we all exist in some kind of bubble) and ask yourself why you believe what you believe, why you think the way you do, why you see people the way you do.

the point is to question, to open yourself up, and to try to understand and love people in better ways.

(this post has not been sponsored by blue bottle. i simply went to blue bottle in downtown LA today and loved it. i also loved that the books on these shelves are for sale, and all proceeds go to the library foundation of los angeles.)


let me be candid. if i had to rank book-acquisition experiences in order of comfort, ease, and satisfaction, the list would go like this:

  1. the perfect independent bookstore, like pygmalion in berkeley.
  2. a big, bright barnes & noble. i know they’re corporate, but let’s face it — those stores are nice. especially the ones with big couches.
  3. the book aisle at walmart. (it’s next to the potting soil.)
  4. the lending library aboard the u.s.s. west virginia, a nuclear submarine deep beneath the surface of the pacific.
  5. mr. penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore.  (mr. penumbra's 24-hour bookstore, 14)
penumbra sells used books, and they are in such uniformly excellent condition that they might as well be new. he buys them during the day — you can only sell to the man with his name on the windows — and he must be a tough customer. he doesn’t seem to pay much attention to the bestseller lists. his inventory is eclectic; there’s no evidence of pattern or purpose other than, i suppose, his own personal taste. so, no teenage wizards or vampire police here. that’s a shame, because this is exactly the kind of store that makes you want to buy a book about a teenage wizard. this is the kind of store that makes you want to be a teenage wizard. (12)

robin sloan’s mr. penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore (FSG, 2012) might be the obvious book to turn to for quotes on bookstores, but i loved this book, so whatever, here we are, even if the book itself is not featured at all in this post.

i read penumbra in 2014, so maybe it’s a little stupid for me to try to write about it when i’m two years and a hundred-something books removed from it. i may be hazy on the details, but i still remember the delight i felt when reading penumbra — it’s like this rollicking, tech-savvy, book-loving adventure that takes its characters from san francisco to new york city and back, and it’s filled with laughs and unapologetic geekery, whether in the way sloan writes about coding or type or google.

thinking about a book i read so long ago, though — i don’t know about you, but my memory is pretty shit. i don’t necessarily retain everything (or a lot of things) from the books i read, unless i’m writing things down and/or taking notes, and, given that i’ve been averaging roughly 60-some books a year for the last few years, that’s a lot of books to read and essentially forget.

so why read if i’ll just forget?

when i think about books, i mostly recall how i felt when i read them. i might recall specific scenarios or situations in which i read certain books, or i might recall the experience of reading, the emotions i felt, the reactions i had. like, i might not remember all the details of salman rushdie’s joseph anton (random house, 2012), but i distinctly remembering thinking fondly of (and wishing i had) the literary community that flocked around him and protected him while he was under the fatwa. i might not remember all the details of shin kyung-sook’s please look after mom (vintage contemporaries, 2012), but i’ll never forget crying on the shinkansen, in a japanese mcdonald’s and starbucks, in a hostel in fukuoka because i missed my grandmother, because i saw her in those pages. 

like, i might already be losing some of the details of sarah waters’ tipping the velvet (riverhead, 2000), but i’ll never forget how that book twisted me up inside, that heady rush of falling in love and the pain of want. (good lord, tipping the velvet did a number on my heart.)

and this is how we tie this back in with bookstores — because, sometimes, books come to us at certain moments of our lives, and, sometimes, a lot of the times, bookstores are the treasure troves that give. and here’s a small celebration of them.

(heh, this post comes courtesy of:  (01) i take a lot of photos of bookstores; and (02) i’m almost almost almost done with a complete draft of my book, which means that i haven’t been reading that much these days and haven’t been doing much thinking/writing outside of book stuff, so here are photos to fill the silence.)


there is no immortality that is not built on friendship and work done with care. all the secrets in the world worth knowing are hiding in plain sight. it takes forty-one seconds to climb a ladder three stories tall. it’s not easy to imagine the year 3012, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. we have new capabilities now — strange powers we’re still getting used to. the mountains are a message from aldrag the wyrm-father. your life must be an open city, with all sorts of ways to wander in.

after that, the book will fade, the way all books fade in your mind. but i hope you will remember this:

a man walking fast down a dark lonely street. quick steps and hard breathing, all wonder and need. a bell above a door and the tinkle it makes. a clerk and a ladder and warm golden light, and then:  the right book exactly, at exactly the right time. (288)


korean/korean-american literature i recommend!


when i say “korean/korean-american literature,” i don’t mean literature written by koreans/korean-americans strictly about koreans/korean-americans or about the korean/korean-american experience.  one of the things about life (and art) is that we aren’t restricted to “what we know,” that we are more than our ethnic or lingual identities, and this has been the really cool part of reading more from korean/korean-americans (“kor-/kor-am” from hereon out), that we write across a wide variety of topics in a wide variety of styles and voices and perspectives.

that might sound like an obvious thing, but [mainstream] publishing is not one that has been friendly to diversity — and, taking it further, to diversity within diversity.  it’s still the case that certain narratives are desired, that certain expectations and burdens are placed upon the shoulders of writers of color, that we’re expected to play within these lines and deliver stories that fit within the narratives shoved onto us, oftentimes immigrant narratives, narratives of hardship and racism and prejudice.

* also, if you haven’t read this fabulous essay by jenny zhang, you should.

it’s fun to see what writers of color are doing, the stories they’re telling, their obsessions and interests, the weird things that make them tick.  it’s also a relief to find a general understanding of intersectionality amongst writers of color, that we are not one thing but many things, that we are not only people of color but that we are also, i.e., queer people of color, that we are the sum of our parts.  it’s also fun to see how we don’t restrict ourselves only to narratives that involve “our experience;” like, i love that alexander chee wrote a massive novel about a french opera singer in the nineteenth-century.  all these things might sound like nothing but aren’t.

it’s also fun to see what’s making it into english translation from korea.  i’m thrilled that the korean government is finally investing in its literature and actively trying to get more korean literature into translation and to make it more visible throughout the world.  i was also so, so happy that the vegetarian recently won the man booker international prize, not only because it was written by a korean woman but also because it’s this weird, dark, korean novel that i’m also impressed and thrilled has picked up a lot of attention, even before the man booker win, in the book community.

and, so, here’s some book talk.


mise en place is french for “everything in its place,” and i fully blame top chef for my current obsession with it.  (and for my current obsession with baking asian sponge cakes, no electric mixer involved.)

a big part of it is my love and appreciation for the aesthetics of order; there’s something so visually satisfying about having “everything in its place.”  another part is that it makes cooking a lot easier once everything has been chopped, measured, separated because all the mechanical labor is out of the way.  what any of this has to do with kor/kor-am literature is anyone’s guess.

i do sometimes question my strong interest in kor/kor-am literature (i think it’s worth examining our obsessions and gravitations from time-to-time).  i acknowledge that a significant part of it is informed by the fact that i am korean-american, that i am bilingual and bicultural, that i am consequently very interested in the gap and disconnect that often occurs between my korean and american sides.  naturally, i turn to literature to see how we, as this tangle of thinly-related groups, wrestle with and negotiate identity, and i’m interested in exploring that tension, seeing how others struggle with it, the various results of that struggle.

that, partly, is why i started making more deliberate attempts to read from kor/kor-am authors, though, to be honest, another incentive was guilt.  i’d always followed korean pop and cinema and television (and still do), but, a few years ago, i knew almost nothing about korean literature, which would give me twinges of shame because i have always loved books and yet had nothing to say when it came to korean literature because of my own ignorance.  once i started reading, though, from both korean and korean-american authors, i fell in love, enchanted by how richly and differently these authors saw the world and expressed themselves, and it’s what’s brought me here and keeps me diving deeper and wanting more and wanting to put these incredible books out there into the world as much as i can.


i might live and breathe books, but i also think a lot about food.

it’s a mystery to my family where my love for food comes from, and they find it simultaneously amusing and distressing that i love it so and think about it constantly, what i want to eat for my next meal, what i want to cook, what i want to try baking.  (right now, i’m playing with the idea of breaking down a whole chicken, brining and searing the breasts, freezing the wings, frying the legs, and roasting the carcass to make broth.  i’ve roasted whole chickens before, but i haven’t broken one down yet, and i find the prospect so exciting, especially when the result is homemade broth.)

food is the thing i loved most about han kang’s the vegetarian — that all that unravelling begins to exhibit in yeong-hye’s sudden refusal to eat animals.  while meat isn’t a huge part of korean cuisine, korean food is not one i’ve necessarily thought of as vegetarian-friendly, despite people (usually not korean) trying to herald it as such; we use anchovy broth for our stews, beef broth for our soups, shrimp paste in our kimchi; and i don’t mean this to say that korean food can’t be made vegetarian, simply that, in its current form best known to me, it is not one that is inherently accessible to vegetarians, at least not in the ways people seem to assume.

which is a total tangent because the vegetarian is not a novel about vegetarianism — or even, food.  instead, han uses korean food culture to get to issues in korean culture overall, whether it be the patriarchy, conformity, the unit over the individual, and this is what i love so much about food culture in general, how much it absorbs so much of culture and reflects it back or subverts it and makes it into something else.

in this case, though, it’s the former, and han delivers a wallop of a criticism against patriarchal korean society.  (i should probably say i’m focusing mostly on the first part of the novel.)  not only is it narrated by yeong-hye’s husband (except for dream segments), thus placing her in position to someone else, but the fall-out from yeong-hye’s refusal to eat meat is defined entirely in how it affects the men in her life, specifically her husband and her father.

her husband is angry because his wife is no longer performing her wifely duties by preparing him meals with meat and declining to have sex, and he’s shamed because her vegetarianism (really, veganism) sets her apart from everyone else.  when he takes her to dinner with his boss and coworkers and their wives, yeong-hye refuses to eat meat and sits there, silent and not eating, marking herself as willfully different and outside social norms as she refuses to bend even to social etiquette and social niceties.  that isolates her husband as well because his wife isn’t like other wives, which means that he’s also no longer welcome, because social norms and etiquette and niceties are the glue that holds korean society together.  it’s a conformist world, one driven by trends and sameness, the group over the individual, and yeong-hye’s refusal to participate in food culture places her outside that world.

her father is enraged, too, because he’s the patriarchal head of the family and should be obeyed.  if he tells his daughter to eat meat, she should eat meat, and he shouldn’t be shamed by the actions of a contrary daughter.  her failures to perform her wifely duties shame him as well; the best thing a daughter can be is a good wife; so yeong-hye is an embarrassment, ungrateful and rude — yeong-hye’s rejection of the oysters and food and black goat her family offers her is gravely rude and offensive; in korea, when someone senior to you offers you something, you take it, no questions asked.

it’s funny because what i love so much about korean food culture is everything that maybe runs against korean culture.  i love how the 밥상 can often represent a safe space for strangers and outsiders, for people to find refuge and forge and solidify new connections, to create family where blood does not flow.  i love the emotional significance of being invited to someone’s 밥상, of being given a place of your own, a rice bowl of your own, an invitation to share a meal (and very literally share a meal — korean food is communal, doesn’t come neatly plated) — and maybe this sounds romanticized and idealized, but, as someone who has taken part of this very culture, who has shared 밥상s with people and created them for people, it’s a very real, very precious thing to me.

that’s likely why the first part of the vegetarian had the strongest impact on me (and why it’s the only part i’m really discussing here).  like i said, han uses korean food culture to point at ugly aspects of korean culture overall, namely the intense patriarchy, the casual acceptance of violence, the extent to which any kind of individualism or any kind of deviation from the norm is shunned.  korea is still a xenophobic, homophobic country, obsessed with academic excellence, a single standard of beauty, and, sometimes, i wonder at the kind of fear that keeps koreans so compliant to this social conformity, that keeps them working themselves to death since childhood to get into SKY, get that job at samsung, get that face, that apartment, that family, that lifestyle.

and so, underneath it all, underneath the extreme reactions to yeong-hye’s vegetarianism lies that fear.  it’s a fear of the unknown, of the different, of someone’s rejection of the norm and the accepted and expected.  it still boggles my mind that people fear (and hate) difference so much, to the point that they will ruthlessly, deliberately murder people because of it, because they so fear any disruption of the so-called norm, of the status quo — i will simply never understand this insane fear.  like, what makes you, the [hetero]normative majority so great that you feel everyone must fit into your single goddamn mold?


here are 13 recommendations for books by korean/korean-american authors in alphabetical order by last name (korean names are formatted the korean way, family name first):

  1. choe yun, there a petal silently falls (columbia university press, 2008) [link]
  2. susan choi,  my education (viking, 2014) [link]
  3. catherine chung,  forgotten country (riverhead, 2012) [link] [2]
  4. han kang, human acts (portobello, 2015) [link] [2]
  5. jung eun-jin, no one writes back (dalkey archive press, 2013) [link] [2]
  6. lady hyegyong, the memoirs of lady hyegyong (university of california press, 2013)
  7. chang-rae lee, a gesture life (riverhead, 2000) [link]
  8. krys lee, how i became a north korean (viking, 2016) [link]
  9. park min-gyu, pavane for a dead princess (dalkey archive press, 2014) [link]
  10. patricia park, re jane (pamela dorman books, 2015) [link]
  11. shin kyung-sook, i’ll be right there (unnamed press, 2014) [link]
  12. unknown, the story of hong gildong (penguin classics, 2016) [link]
  13. jung yun, shelter (picador, 2015) [link]

why these thirteen?  what were the criteria?  how did i select them?  is it terrible if i admit that i chose them a little arbitrarily?  and that there’s also kind of a cheat in there because i haven’t actually finished reading the memoirs of lady hyegyong yet?

reading is an intellectual act, but it’s also a visceral and emotional act.  (it’s also, partly, a visual experience.)  we respond to different things, connect with different characters, identify with different conflicts and struggles, and these are simply books that have resonated with me for one reason or another.  some of them also have what i call staying power, books that have stayed with me since i read them, even if i might not have felt super strongly or positively about them after i’d initially read them.

the one rule i did follow is that i only allowed one title per author*, and i did try to provide titles by an equal number of korean authors and korean-american authors.  if i reviewed or wrote about a title, whether via instagram or on this site, i linked them as well because i’m not going to go into in-depth reviews here.

this is not a comprehensive list by any means, and it is entirely 100% subjective.  however, i can assure you that they are all well-written, smart, thoughtful books, and i think they each add to the general dialogue of literature, of korean/korean-american literature, of translated literature.  some of them (there a petal silently falls, human acts, a gesture life, i’ll be right there) consider human brutality within history; others (forgotten country, re jane, shelter) consider korean-americanism, what that means and how that fits into and impacts people’s lives in different ways; and even others (no one writes back, pavane for a dead princess) look at contemporary korean society and its ailments.  and then there’s how i became a north korean, which is currently by far my book of the year, a brilliant, heart-breaking story of north korean refugees, as well as a searing indictment of everyone (and i mean everyone) in the exploitation, abuse, and mistreatment of north korean refugees.

* if i hadn’t given myself that rule, i would have also included krys lee’s drifting house (viking, 2012), han kang’s the vegetarian (hogarth, 2016), susan choi’s the foreign student (harper perennial, 2004), and shin kyung-sook’s please look after mom (vintage, 2012).

so there we have it!  thanks for reading, and please do feel free to share any thoughts, especially if you do pick up or have read any of the books mentioned/listed!

international women's day!


it's international women's day, and i'm not that big on hashtags (despite sporadic participation), but i'm all about opportunities to share asian-american and [east] asian books-in-translation (i admit/acknowledge that my geographic focus is narrow).  here are ten books by international women i love.

  1. banana yoshimoto, lizard (washington square press, 1995)
  2. marilynne robinson, lila (FSG, 2014)
  3. krys lee, drifting house (viking, 2012)
  4. ruth ozeki, a tale for the time being (penguin, 2013)
  5. mary shelly, frankenstein (penguin clothbound classics, 2013)
  6. han kang, human acts (portobello, 2016)
  7. helen macdonald, h is for hawk (grove press, 2015)
  8. charlotte brontë, jane eyre (penguin clothbound classics, 2009)
  9. jang eun-jin, no one writes back (dalkey archive press, 2013)
  10. shin kyung-sook, i'll be right there (other press, 2014)

also, one of my favorite book quotes comes from yoshimoto's "helix," a story which can be found in her collection, lizard:

"even when i have crushes on other men, i always see you in the curve of their eyebrows."  (64)

happy international reading!