Readers Treated to a Promising Korean-American Writer"s Novel

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Readers Treated to a Promising Korean-American Writer"s Novel

The 29-year-old Korean-American writer Patty Kim's debut novel, 'A Cab Called Reliable', has been translated into Korean.
The writer, born in Pusan but raised in the U.S. since the age of four, put her own life and feeling into 'Ahnjoo', the heroine of this novel.
Contrary to the ever-popular success stories of emigration, we cannot find the resplendent 'American Dream' throughout this work.
The story begins when Ahnjoo is 9 years old. Her mother runs away with Ahnjoo's younger brother because of her drunkard father. He eventually acquires a Korean girlfriend, Rula, but she also leaves him for another man.
Although Ahnjoo rightly hates her father, neverthless, she can not leave her only family in the U.S.
She always feels a sense of deep alienation among her middle-class friends, except for Borice, a one-legged boy.
The only way for Ahnjoo to communicate with the outer world is through her writing. She starts to recreate the hometown stories that her father told her.
At the end of this novel we encounter two reconciliations. The father pardons the grandfather, who urged his son to farm instead of going to school, and Ahnjoo pardons her father.
On the road to the finale, the writer gives a sensitive portrayal of a brash and wounded girl's mentality.
When this novel was published in the U.S. in 1997, the New York Times gushed that 'rarely does a debut novel make a reader hunger for the author's next book'.
Jooan Kang : jooan@joongang.co.kr

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