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The Calligrapher's Daughter

A Novel
Kim, Eugenia (Book - 2009 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Calligrapher's Daughter
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In early-twentieth-century Korea, Najin Han, the privileged daughter of a calligrapher, longs to choose her own destiny. Smart and headstrong, she is encouraged by her mother--but her stern father is determined to maintain tradition, especially as the Japanese steadily gain control of his beloved country.
Authors: Kim, Eugenia (Eugenia SunHee)
Title: The calligrapher's daughter
a novel
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Co., 2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
Characteristics: 386 p. ;,24 cm.
Summary: In early-twentieth-century Korea, Najin Han, the privileged daughter of a calligrapher, longs to choose her own destiny. Smart and headstrong, she is encouraged by her mother--but her stern father is determined to maintain tradition, especially as the Japanese steadily gain control of his beloved country.
ISBN: 9780805089127
0805089128
Statement of Responsibility: Eugenia Kim
Subject Headings: Fathers and daughters Korea Fiction. Korea History 20th century Fiction.
Genre/Form: Bildungsromans.
Historical fiction.
Bildungsromans.
Topical Term: Fathers and daughters
LCCN: 2008046306
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Mar 05, 2012
  • BMalara rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

May Book Club Book

Feb 06, 2012
  • jossung rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The history was interesting, as were some of the cultural insights; however, from a literary p/o/v it was a bit weak. It started racing toward the end and I never really got hooked on the characters. Still, a notable addiction to Korean-American literature.

Nov 07, 2011
  • VRMurphy rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

Meh. Got about 50 pages in and had that doomed feeling that it just wasn't going to get any better. One of those novels where you appreciate all the research the author did on the time period and the details of the characters' lives, and the fact that she's trying soooooo hard, but the story just lay there on the page and wouldn't come alive.

This is the first fictional novel I've read about Korea and it's very good.
I learned a lot about Korea as well as purely enjoying the story and well developed characters.
I heartily recommend this -- a great read!

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Apr 28, 2011
  • lilylibrarian rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The story of Najin Han, but also the story of old Korea's painful transistion into a modern nation under the oppressive occupation of Japan before and during WWII. Najin's father is the last of dying aristocracy; her mother dutifully follows the traditional Confucian values for a virtuous women while upholding the vies of a sincere Christian. Najin leaves this household to live as a companion to the Korean princess, learning the oldest ways, until the royal family is eliminated by the Japanese. She marries and plans to travel to America, but is denied a visa. Thus she ends up a servant in her mother-in-law's home while her husband of 1 day attend seminary in the US. For eleven years.

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