Still Life with Rice: A Young American Woman Discovers the Life and Legacy of Her Korean Grandmother

Helie Lee, Author
Helie Lee, Author Scribner Book Company $24 (8p) ISBN 978-0-684-80270-1
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-684-82711-7
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Lee traveled from California to Korea to recapture the life of her grandmother. Hongyong Baek (b. 1912) grew up in northern Korea, the daughter of wealthy parents, and at 22 entered into an arranged marriage and began a life of servitude to her husband. Drawing on interviews with her grandmother and writing in her voice, Lee dramatically describes the aftermath of the Japanese occupation of Korea, which forced Baek, her husband (with whom she ultimately fell in love) and their children to flee to China in 1939, where they supported themselves by selling opium. After they returned to Korea, the 1950s' civil war caused them extreme hardship. Baek lost her husband to diphtheria and was separated from her son. She supported her other children by practicing the healing art of Chedo. Baek emigrated to the U.S. in 1972. A captivating memoir of a courageous survivor. (Mar.)
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