Home Was the Land of Morning Calm: A Saga of a Korean-American Family

Home Was the Land of Morning Calm: A Saga of a Korean-American Family

Home Was the Land of Morning Calm: A Saga of a Korean-American Family

Home Was the Land of Morning Calm: A Saga of a Korean-American Family

Synopsis

"I am more American than Korean in my mind, but I am more Korean than American in my soul." In this poignant, bittersweet family memoir, K. Connie Kang tells the story of one of America's most recent, and successful, immigrant groups: the Korean-Americans. The author's tale is one of hardship, as wars twice force her family to flee their homes in Korea. It is also a story of heartbreak, as her new life in America, first as a student and then as a reporter, irreversibly separates her from her parents and their values. Ultimately, hers is a story of the lure of American freedom, and the wisdom offered up by a lifelong struggle to reconcile two vastly different cultures. Connie Kang, who came to the United States in 1961, interweaves her family's story with Korea's tempestuous recent history. Her grandfather, Myong-Hwan Kang, a nationalist organizer during the period of Japanese colonialism, is arrested and tortured for his activities. Only a few years after the victory over Japan, war breaks out with the Communists in the North. Connie and her mother escape on an all-night ride on top of a railroad car, and arrive as refugees in Pusam. Eventually they rejoin Connie's father in Tokyo, and then Okinawa. As a college student in America, the author meets other Korean students, and for the first time grapples with the question of her Korean identity. Though she is drawn to the personal freedom in America, her emotional ties to her family and country are equally strong, setting the stage for a conflict of identities which has yet to cease. She becomes one of the first Korean-American journalists in the U. S., but still her family breaks up her intended marriage to an American. When she tries living and working in Korea, she finds the role of women too restricted. Finally she decides to settle in America. Now, as a reporter, she covers the Asian-American communities around Los Angeles, helping to bring to light the issues that affect recent immigrants like herself. In a warm, sympathetic voice that is refreshingly candid but never sentimental, K. Connie Kang has written the book on the Korean-American experience. It is a story that will touch us all.
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