Archive by Author

Culture Shock! Korea — Chock Full of Information!

Paperback: 264 pages Publisher: Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Pte Ltd Date: February 7, 2018 I’ll never forget when I first came to Korea in 1990 to teach English, my school sent me an information packet about the school and Korea. Specifically, it was mostly badly photo-copied material about what I should or shouldn’t bring to Korea as well […]

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The Freedman — Book Review

I’ve been a big fan of Lars Hedbor ever since I read his first book, The Prize. What first impressed me was his style of writing that captured this period of American history. I’ve often compared him to another one of my favorite writers, who also wrote about this period, James Fenimore Cooper. His latest, […]

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Pachinko, A Literary Triumph!

In the spirit of Charles Dickens and Leo Tolstoy, Pachinko is a beautifully written story about the sweeping four-generation history and saga of a Korean family in Japan. In a story filled with forbidden love, triumph and failure, and the need to belong, author Min Jin Lee sheds light on a subject not normally explored […]

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Roadside Table — One Mile Ahead

Today I was thinking about roadside tables. Remember them? This was not a rest area with all the amenities (grills, restrooms, running water, and a possibly a playground for the kids). A roadside table was that. Just a picnic table or two and a trashcan. Usually at some junction/intersection where a family could enjoy a […]

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10,000 words

Just passed 10,000 words on my current WIP. The first 10,000 words are the always the hardest. I seem to be slowing down a little. Either that, I am taking more time (this is probably the real reason) for writing out particular scenes…and don’t forget I am still writing out the first draft by hand. […]

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Regrets? I’ve had a few

Today, without fanfare or celebration, I will mark sixty trips around the sun. In Asia, one’s sixtieth birthday is an auspicious occasion because there was a time when most folks didn’t live past sixty. These days, sixty is the new forty (though my body sure doesn’t feel like it). What a strange and amazing trip […]

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Nice Parking, Dumb Ass

Usually, bad parking in Korea doesn’t annoy me (yes, it does, but I am trying hard to be nicer these days), but when I saw the way the driver of this car parked in front of a fitness club next to my apartment, I couldn’t look the other way. To be fair, it was Sunday […]

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Winds of Change

With talk of summits on the Korean peninsula these days, one might be inclined to believe that peace could very well be at hand, or at the very least, some serious talk about reducing tensions in northeast Asia. Kim Jong-un’s recent trip to China was definitely an unprecedented move, which could have far-reaching repercussions. My […]

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Waking Up in the Land of the Morning Calm — 2017

Another year in Korea. Twenty-seven and counting. It’s this time of the year when I wax nostalgia and feel homesick the most. And more often than not, I find myself waxing nostalgia for the time when I first came to Korea. Recently, my friend and book designer, Anna Takahashi, redid the cover design for Waking […]

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Twenty-five Years Ago this Month

Twenty-five years ago this month, I taught my last class at ELS, a language school in Seoul near Kangnam subway station. On November 27, 1992, I said goodbye to my colleagues at ELS and left for Kimpo. I would be back six weeks later, teaching at Yonsei University’s Foreign Language Institute. The two years I […]

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