on my reading list: long for this world by sonya chung

Joining the large stack of books I need to read, Long for This World, the debut novel from Sonya Chung, now out from Scribner. The book tells the story of a family divided between contemporary America and a small Korean town. It's about loss and renewal and what it means to go home. Here's the description from the book jacket:
IN 1953, on a remote island in South Korea, a young boy stows away on the ferry that is carrying his older brother and sister-in-law to the mainland. Fifty-two years later, Han Hyun-kyu is on a plane back to Korea, leaving behind his wife and grown children in America. It is his daughter, Jane -- a war photographer recently injured in a bombing in Baghdad and forced to return to New York -- who journeys to find him in the South Korean town where his brothers have settled. Here, father and daughter take refuge from their demons, unearth passions, and, in the wake of tragedy, each discover something deeper and more enduring than they'd imagined passible.

Long for This World is a pointillist triumph -- depicting whole worlds through the details of a carefully prepared meal or a dark childhood memory. But Chung is also working on a massive scale, effortlessly moving between domestic intimacies and the global stage -- Iraq, Paris, Darfur, Syria -- to illuminate the relationship between troubled world affairs and person devastation. The result is a profound portrayal of the human experience -- both large and small. Long for This World establishes Sonya Chung as a thrilling new voice in fiction.
It sounds like a really awesome book -- I'm going to have to move it to the top of the stack. For more information about Long for This World, go to Sonya Chung's website here. You can read an excerpt from the book here. Sonya is also going on a book tour. See the schedule here. Oh, and you can buy the book here.

Finally, check out this great essay Sonya wrote last year for The Millions on navigating the complicated book jacket design process, specifically when it comes to evoking "Asian American imagery": "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Designing a Book Jacket..."

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