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At Home with Literati: E.J. Koh, Nancy Jooyoun Kim

We're pleased to welcome E.J. Koh in support of The Magical Language of Others, in conversation with Nancy Jooyoun Kim.

Click here to join the webinar event on 2/1.

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About the book: The Magical Language of Others is a powerful and aching love story in letters, from mother to daughter. After living in America for over a decade, Eun Ji Koh's parents return to South Korea for work, leaving fifteen-year-old Eun Ji and her brother behind in California. Overnight, Eun Ji finds herself abandoned and adrift in a world made strange by her mother's absence. Her mother writes letters in Korean over the years seeking forgiveness and love--letters Eun Ji cannot fully understand until she finds them years later hidden in a box.

As Eun Ji translates the letters, she looks to history--her grandmother Jun's years as a lovesick wife in Daejeon, the loss and destruction her grandmother Kumiko witnessed during the Jeju Island Massacre--and to poetry, as well as her own lived experience to answer questions inside all of us. Where do the stories of our mothers and grandmothers end and ours begin? How do we find words--in Korean, Japanese, English, or any language--to articulate the profound ways that distance can shape love?

The Magical Language of Others weaves a profound tale of hard-won selfhood and our deep bonds to family, place, and language, introducing--in Eun Ji Koh--a singular, incandescent voice.

E. J. Koh is the author of the poetry collection A Lesser Love, winner of the Pleiades Press Editors Prize, and co-translator of Yi Won's The World's Lightest Motorcycle, forthcoming from Zephyr Press. Her poems, translations, and stories have appeared in Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and World Literature Today, among others. She earned her MFA in Literary Translation and Creative Writing from Columbia University, and is completing the PhD program at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is a recipient of MacDowell and Kundiman fellowships.

Nancy Jooyoun Kim is the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Story of Mina Lee, a Reese's Book Club pick. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Guernica, NPR/PRI’s Selected Shorts, Salon, Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s The Margins, and elsewhere. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Event date: 
Monday, February 1, 2021 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
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The Magical Language of Others: A Memoir Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781951142278
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - January 19th, 2021

The Last Story of Mina Lee Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780778310174
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Park Row - September 1st, 2020