Title: The Korean Word for Butterfly by James Zerndt
Published April 8, 2013
First chapter: Joe and I were met outside the airport by a man in a black suit. He was holding a sign with our names on it just like you see in the movies. He told us he worked for the English school and his name was, get this, Moon. He spoke to us in this quiet, gentle voice that immediately put me at ease. To say I was on edge would been an understatement. Joe and I were frauds. There was no other word for it.Book description: Set against the backdrop of the 2002 World Cup and rising anti-American sentiment due to a deadly accident involving two young Korean girls and a U.S. tank, the novel is told from three alternating points-of-view. This is a story about the choices we make and why we make them. It is a story, ultimately, about the power of love and redemption. (from goodreads)
My comments: I found this novel an interesting and enlightening look at the Korea of ten years ago, written by a former English teacher in Seoul. There is resentment and suspicion of the U.S. forces there, especially after two schoolgirls are run over by a U.S. military tank. The Koreans avoided mixing with foreigners and the cultural differences often made for uneasy relations between the two groups.
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