Jimin Han’s fiction and nonfiction can be found at NPR’s “Weekend America,” eChook’s memoir app, The NuyorAsian Anthology, Global City Review, and KoreanAmericanStory.org, among others. She teaches at the Writing Institute, Sarah Lawrence College. You can see her other musings and works-in-progress on her blog.
The pile of books I’ve yet to read, (aka the short list):
• The Collective by Don Lee — I’m a fan. Loved his previous books. Excited to see this new one just out and Kindled it immediately. Also curious because it’s about a group of students, and I’ve written a novel about a similar time period with that age group (very different issues though).
• The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch — Ran into the mother of my daughter’s preschool friend in Katonah who thanked me for posting a Sugar article on FB because it led her to other things to read, namely this memoir by Yuknavitch. “About our bodies and ourselves. Read it and then we’ll talk,” she said. So I promised her I would.
• Swamplandia! by Karen Russell — Because I liked the first couple of pages.
• Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey — Because she chose a friend of mine’s poetry collection for publication, one of those contests, and I’m a fan of his work, and because she’s the Poet Laureate and I’ll read poetry anytime.
• Every Last Secret by Linda Rodriguez — Because I like what she says on Twitter.
• The Substitute Bride by Victoria M. Johnson — Ditto, and plus I like the title.
• The Gathering by Anne Enright — Because a close friend recommended it, and I was in a used bookstore in Peekskill yesterday (what an interesting River town Peekskill is, first time there) and there it was.
• Darkness Visible by William Styron — Because I’ve only read excerpts and I think I can handle the whole volume now. (I hope)
• Best American Poetry 1994, edited by A.R. Ammons — Because I didn’t get to take a class with Archie Ammons when I was at school even though I loved his work (he was on leave). And somehow I missed this Best American collection and it was one of the few poetry books in that same Peekskill bookstore.
• In Full Bloom by Caroline Hwang — Because I love to read books by Asian American writers, remembering a time before the Internet when I only knew of a few. Ditto Peekskill bookstore. I think the women working in this bookstore didn’t want their books sold. They were rather cranky about parting with them, and I can relate to that because you could see they loved them that much. At the same time, giving a book to a friend and receiving one in return that was read and loved has a particular spirit that I support but then I can’t go back and see the parts I underlined/circled so it’s a love/hate thing for me. (And I’ll never get over loaning Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem—which I got signed by her by working up the nerve to approach her at a reading at Barnard—to a friend who lost it. Lesson: don’t lend anything you can’t afford to lose).
• If you stayed to read up this far, I have to tell you about a special book by my bed, called Words of Farewell. It’s a collection of Korean women writers in translation and has my favorite short story in it, by Sok-kyong Kang, entitled “A Room in the Woods.” Happy reading and writing!
Who else discovered a BUNCH of new-to-them titles by Jimin’s bed? Any book recs for her?