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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Forgotten Country

by

Forgotten Country Cover

ISBN13: 9781594488085
ISBN10: 1594488088
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A Booklist Top 10 First Novels of 2012 pick

A Bookpage Best Books of 2012 pick

On the night Janie waits for her sister, Hannah, to be born, her grandmother tells her a story: Since the Japanese occupation of Korea, their family has lost a daughter in every generation, so Janie is charged with keeping Hannah safe. As time passes, Janie hears more stories, while facts remain unspoken. Her father tells tales about numbers, and in his stories everything works out. In her mother's stories, deer explode in fields, frogs bury their loved ones in the ocean, and girls jump from cliffs and fall like flowers into the sea. Within all these stories are warnings.

Years later, when Hannah inexplicably cuts all ties and disappears, Janie embarks on a mission to find her sister and finally uncover the truth beneath her family's silence. To do so, she must confront their history, the reason for her parents' sudden move to America twenty years earlier, and ultimately her conflicted feelings toward her sister and her own role in the betrayal behind their estrangement.

Weaving Korean folklore within a modern narrative of immigration and identity, Forgotten Country is a fierce exploration of the inevitability of loss, the conflict between obligation and freedom, and a family struggling to find its way out of silence and back to one another.

Review:

"In this beautiful debut novel, sisters Janie and Hannah demonstrate very different reactions to their Korean parents and heritage. The dutiful Janie has carried the weight of having to look after the more manipulative but possibly more lovable Hannah since childhood. Woven with tender reflections, sharp renderings of isolation, and beautiful prose, the story traces Janie's and Hannah's Midwestern upbringing. Tensions rise when Hannah intentionally disappears while away at college. Janie, haunted by her grandmother's warning that in their family, a sister from each generation always vanishes, tries to find her, though Hannah makes it clear she doesn't want to be found. Chung simultaneously shines light on the violence of Korean history, the chill of American xenophobia, and the impossibility of home in either country. 'In Korea, couples dress alike to show the world that they're together. Families, sisters, teams, groups — delight in wearing a uniform.... Here is the lesson: nothing is more important than belonging.' Though both sisters know this to be true, they struggle with how to make peace with one another and their past until an unanticipated trip to Korea allows everyone to see more clearly. Agent: Maria Massie, Lippincott Massie McQuilkin." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

A Booklist Top 10 First Novels of 2012 pick

A Bookpage Best Books of 2012 pick

“A richly emotional portrait of a family that had me spellbound from page one.”—Cheryl Strayed, bestselling author of Wild

The night before Janies sister, Hannah, is born, her grandmother tells her a story: Since the Japanese occupation of Korea, their family has lost a daughter in every generation, and Janie is told to keep Hannah safe. Years later, when Hannah inexplicably cuts all ties and disappears, Janie goes to find her. Thus begins a journey that will force her to confront her familys painful silence, the truth behind her parents sudden move to America twenty years earlier, and her own conflicted feelings toward Hannah.

Synopsis:

“A richly emotional portrait of a family that had me spellbound from page one.”—Cheryl Strayed, bestselling author of Wild

The night before Janie’s sister, Hannah, is born, her grandmother tells her a story: Since the Japanese occupation of Korea, their family has lost a daughter in every generation, and Janie is told to keep Hannah safe. Years later, when Hannah inexplicably cuts all ties and disappears, Janie goes to find her. What she discovers will force her to confront her family’s painful silence, the truth behind her parents’ sudden move to America twenty years earlier, and her own conflicted feelings toward Hannah.

Weaving Korean folklore and history within a modern narrative of immigration and identity, Catherine Chung delivers a fierce exploration of the inevitability of loss and the conflict between loyalty and freedom. Forgotten Country marks the debut of a graceful, astonishing new voice in fiction, one with a quiet ferocity that will break your heart.

About the Author

Catherine Chung was born in Evanston, Illinois, and grew up in New York, New Jersey, and Michigan. She studied mathematics at the University of Chicago and received her MFA from Cornell University. Chung is one of Granta's New Voices. She lives in Brooklyn. To learn more about Catherine Chung, please visit www.catherinechung.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Mary Akers, January 31, 2013 (view all comments by Mary Akers)
I first encountered Catherine Chung's wonderful novel Forgotten Country at an artist's colony. It was on a table in the center library and I picked it up and started (idly) to read the first chapter. Time compressed and before I knew it, I had to leave the book behind and return to my duties, but I knew I was hooked and had to finish it. As soon as I returned home, I picked up my own copy and devoured Forgotten Country. The writing is elegant and spare and unflinchingly honest. Themes explored are sisterhood, loyalty, belonging, family, and identity.

When main character Jeehyn's sister Haejin (the girls are renamed Janie and Hannah by the American public school system) goes missing, Jeehyn is tasked with finding her and bringing her home, a task that becomes even more urgent after their father falls ill. This is a story that explores the conflicts between dreams and desires, duty and freedom, family and love. Chung also delightfully weaves Korean folklore and history throughout.

Forgotten Country is a touching, thoughtful, important story that left me emotionally wrecked--in the very best sort of way--the way that only the most beautiful of books can.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781594488085
Author:
Chung, Catherine
Publisher:
Riverhead Hardcover
Subject:
Literature-Family Life
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120301
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Cultural Heritage
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Featured Titles

Forgotten Country Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Riverhead Books - English 9781594488085 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this beautiful debut novel, sisters Janie and Hannah demonstrate very different reactions to their Korean parents and heritage. The dutiful Janie has carried the weight of having to look after the more manipulative but possibly more lovable Hannah since childhood. Woven with tender reflections, sharp renderings of isolation, and beautiful prose, the story traces Janie's and Hannah's Midwestern upbringing. Tensions rise when Hannah intentionally disappears while away at college. Janie, haunted by her grandmother's warning that in their family, a sister from each generation always vanishes, tries to find her, though Hannah makes it clear she doesn't want to be found. Chung simultaneously shines light on the violence of Korean history, the chill of American xenophobia, and the impossibility of home in either country. 'In Korea, couples dress alike to show the world that they're together. Families, sisters, teams, groups — delight in wearing a uniform.... Here is the lesson: nothing is more important than belonging.' Though both sisters know this to be true, they struggle with how to make peace with one another and their past until an unanticipated trip to Korea allows everyone to see more clearly. Agent: Maria Massie, Lippincott Massie McQuilkin." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
A Booklist Top 10 First Novels of 2012 pick

A Bookpage Best Books of 2012 pick

“A richly emotional portrait of a family that had me spellbound from page one.”—Cheryl Strayed, bestselling author of Wild

The night before Janies sister, Hannah, is born, her grandmother tells her a story: Since the Japanese occupation of Korea, their family has lost a daughter in every generation, and Janie is told to keep Hannah safe. Years later, when Hannah inexplicably cuts all ties and disappears, Janie goes to find her. Thus begins a journey that will force her to confront her familys painful silence, the truth behind her parents sudden move to America twenty years earlier, and her own conflicted feelings toward Hannah.

"Synopsis" by ,
“A richly emotional portrait of a family that had me spellbound from page one.”—Cheryl Strayed, bestselling author of Wild

The night before Janie’s sister, Hannah, is born, her grandmother tells her a story: Since the Japanese occupation of Korea, their family has lost a daughter in every generation, and Janie is told to keep Hannah safe. Years later, when Hannah inexplicably cuts all ties and disappears, Janie goes to find her. What she discovers will force her to confront her family’s painful silence, the truth behind her parents’ sudden move to America twenty years earlier, and her own conflicted feelings toward Hannah.

Weaving Korean folklore and history within a modern narrative of immigration and identity, Catherine Chung delivers a fierce exploration of the inevitability of loss and the conflict between loyalty and freedom. Forgotten Country marks the debut of a graceful, astonishing new voice in fiction, one with a quiet ferocity that will break your heart.

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