When I was doing research for South Korean literature, I came across a list in Vanity Fair of 5 Korean Novels You Should Read. One of the first things said was “these aren’t Beach Reads”. And indeed – they are NOT. I’m going to take their advice and run with it anyway; three of the five recommendations are sitting in my living room. First up: Drifting House, by Krys Lee.
This book kicked my ass. The long-lasting devastation of war. The destruction, down to the family level, of a nation torn apart. What it means to be an immigrant, and then again the next level of being a first-generation kid, carrying all that weight and more. This collection of short stories digs in deep, grabs you by the collar and doesn’t let go. There were moments of wanting to put it down, to just return it to the library and find something else easier to digest, but nope. The author manifested this unflinching thing, and it was on me to stay. Even though it wasn’t always easy, it was entirely worth it.