Saturday, September 3, 2011
One Thousand Chestnut Treets; A novel of Korea by Mira Stout
Our next book will trasport us to Korea, we'll be discussing "One Thousand Chestnut Trees; A novel of Korea" by Mira Stout.
Here's a book summary:
Mira Stout's protagonist is Anna (based loosely on Stout herself), a young artist who lives in New York and feels lost. Knowing little about her Boston Irish father and her Korean mother, and less still about Korea, she decides to journey to Korea, as Mira Stout herself did, to try to make sense of the random jigsaw pieces of her background--tidbits like the story of her great-grandfather, once the ruler of Kangwon Province, who was stripped of land and title by the invading Japanese and ordered a temple be built atop the highest mountain amidst 1,000 chestnut trees.
In the novel, Anna's Korean curiosity begins as a teenager, when Uncle Hong-do arrives from Korea to visit Anna's mother, the sister he never met. Years later, Anna turns to Korea as an answer to her feelings of existential angst, retracing her mother's steps in an effort "to see my family undie." Told in her voice as well as her mother's and grandfather's, what you get is a stirring novel that combines Korea's epic history with a family legacy and a personal exploration.
Hope to see you on Sept 18 at the Bean Bag Coffee House on Divisadero!
Next book to read:
October - In the name of Salome by Julia Alvarez