cover image Impossible Children

Impossible Children

Robert Yune. Sarabande, $16.95 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-946448-40-8

The 18 stories in Yune’s debut provide a sharp, fresh perspective on the Korean-American experience. In “Princeton,” a Korean father new to America temporarily leaves his two young children, Jason and Tommy, in the care of a well-to-do New Jersey doctor and his wife, whose prize possession, an Anasazi bowl, becomes inexplicably coveted by one of the boys. In “Clear Blue Michigan Sky,” a college dropout working in an automobile scrap yard befriends a female coworker who has a radical approach to career guidance. Jason and Tommy return in “Stop Hitting Yourself” as estranged adults who hit the road together and accidentally become involved with a group of New England Revolutionary War reenactors. Three of the stories revolve around Jennifer Moon, a young woman who has rebelled against her family, especially her father, Edward Moon, a tech tycoon whose imposing presence is felt elsewhere in the collection. And “The Impossible Daughter” is an extravagant faux fable about a princess whose emperor father auditions her suitors—with an exacting toll for those who don’t make the cut. The author has a playful imagination, which he exhibits to fabulist effect in these stories that showcase his original takes on Korean immigrant assimilation. This is a sly, entertaining debut. (Aug.)