"Long for This World"
Saturday, December 4, 2010
It is a story of a Korean family, some members in Korea, some in America. What can I say? It’s about life. Tragedy intersects with daily routine and occasional joys. Beloved people finish their lives, just as they do off the page. And, piece by piece the days and years build, families continue.
A quote: “A slight shift in one direction or another and she will slide off the surface of her life. Eow easily this happens to a person. How little it takes to unhinge what once seemed securely locked.”
This is a slim book but so filled with nuanced details of thoughts and actions and characters that it keeps you in its world past the last page. A wonderful bonus is the overlay of Korean culture. After I read it--partly in tribute and partly under the spell of the women in the kitchen chopping, chopping--I went out for lunch at a Korean restaurant. (Koreana at the corner of Prospect and Broadway in Cambridge. I definitely plan to go back.)
There’s another book out with the same title, a non-fiction book about longevity. But that’s a different book. This one, the novel, doesn’t tell you about living longer. Just about living.