Lost Names: Scenes from a Korean Boyhood

Lost Names: Scenes from a Korean Boyhood

Lost Names: Scenes from a Korean Boyhood

Lost Names: Scenes from a Korean Boyhood

Synopsis

In this classic tale, Richard E. Kim paints seven vivid scenes from a boyhood and early adolescence in Korea at the height of the Japanese occupation, 1932 to 1945. Taking its title from the grim fact that the occupiers forced the Koreans to renounce their own names and adopt Japanese names instead, the book follows one Korean family through the Japanese occupation to the surrender of the Japanese empire. Lost Names is at once a loving memory of family and a vivid portrayal of life in a time of anguish.

Excerpt

Speech given at the Fiftieth International pen Conference at Lugano, Switzerland, May 12, 1987

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

To begin with, let me tell you that this is one of the bestorganized conferences that I have had the pleasure of participating in (and I have been to many). For that I would like to thank the organizers and the staff. I would like to thank the British Council of Hong Kong and the Department of English of Hong Kong University for creating the idea of this conference in the first place. I remember writing to Jill Martin and commending her and all those involved in organizing this conference for the very idea of hosting a conference of this nature. and I would also like to thank this conference—from a very personal point of view—for inviting me to participate in it because the invitation helped me—in a rather unexpected way, I confess—to clarify and define to some extent what I think of myself by understanding what others seem to think of me.

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