lected Poems ( 1982), she ponders such issues as women's suffering, immigrant life, and Christian faith.
Cathy Song, a Korean Chinese-American born in Hawai'i in 1955, is perhaps the best-known of the second- and third-generation Korean-American poets. As Song says in the title poem of her first collection of poetry, Picture Bride, her grandmother came from Korea as a "picture bride" to marry a stranger who was "thirteen years older than she" ( Song, Picture 3). Song earned a B.A. from Wellesley College in 1977 and an M.A. in creative writing from Boston University in 1981. She has published two collections of poems whose main focus is on her ancestral roots: Picture Bride ( 1983), the 1982 winner of the prestigious Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition, and Frameless Windows, Squares of Light ( 1988).
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha Dictee ( 1982) combines multiple genres. Unlike other Korean-American works, her writing is in multiple languages (English, French, and Chinese) and combines prose and poetry with often shocking photos representing modern Korean history. One of the few 1.5 generation Korean- American writers (those writers who were born in Korea but grew up in America), Cha was born in Pusan, Korea, in 1951, and soon after the publication of Dictee, she was tragically murdered.
Despite its widening scope and increasing depth, Korean-American literature has not received much critical attention. When Korean-American writing is reviewed, critics sometimes regard it as being of little literary merit and of poor stylistic quality. While the language of the first generation of post-war Korean immigrant literature is often choppy or awkward, those critics have oftentimes ignored its sociohistorical value and the depth of its emotional power. These writers have left an important legacy to the newest Korean-American writers in their presentation of the stories of the earliest Korean immigrants to the United States.
Newer writers, building upon the foundations laid by the first Korean- American writers, have expanded their literary scope and vision. The newer writers, like Willyce Kim, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Myung Mi Kim, Walter Lew, and John J. Song (whose short story "Faith" deals with incest), are embracing new forms and/or subject matters. Unlike the earlier- generation writers, especially Induk Pahk, who regarded the United States as Korea's generous big brother, they generally do not consider America as heaven on earth. Many of the newer writers have experienced an identity crisis as Korean Americans, and their agony over who they are in the United States has found its way to their literary imagination. As such, younger writers, with their greater command of the language, infuse their writing with a more aggressive tone and vision. Unlike the earlier generation, who primarily sought to record, this generation seeks to galvanize yet another generation of Korean-American