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Forever Alien: A Korean Memoir, 1930-1951

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Korean native Sunny Che spent most of her early childhood in Japan, where she and her family were treated as outsiders. She returned to Korea, only to find herself a stranger in her homeland. This memoir is the story of her personal struggle amidst the crucial events enveloping Asia at midcentury. Part I chronicles her childhood in Japan and the beginning of the war in the Pacific. Part II describes her return to Korea, the turmoil of Korea's liberation from Japan, and the ...

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Overview

Korean native Sunny Che spent most of her early childhood in Japan, where she and her family were treated as outsiders. She returned to Korea, only to find herself a stranger in her homeland. This memoir is the story of her personal struggle amidst the crucial events enveloping Asia at midcentury. Part I chronicles her childhood in Japan and the beginning of the war in the Pacific. Part II describes her return to Korea, the turmoil of Korea's liberation from Japan, and the Korean War.

From a schoolgirl's perspective, Che describes events both global and intimate. She depicts the alienation and chaos of war and migration, as well as the domestic trials of a family seeking not merely to survive but to hold on to their heritage. Her story is at once a unique perspective on history and a moving chronicle of her own childhood, providing a detailed picture of diverse cultures irrevocably changed by two devastating wars.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Korean native Sunny Che (b. 1929) offers an autobiography covering her youth, from her early childhood years living in Japan, her family's migration to Korea, the turmoil of Korea's liberation from Japan, and the Korean War, when her association with the Americans granted her passage to the US. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786406852
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 261
  • Product dimensions: 5.68 (w) x 8.82 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Political activist Sunny Che was the 1996 recipient of the Democratic Achievement Award by recommendation of Senator John Glenn. She lives in Worthington, Ohio.

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Table of Contents

A Korean Childhood in Japan, 1930-1944
1 Korean Roots 3
2 Wandering Koreans 6
3 Fukui 9
4 Life in Fukui 12
5 Mother 23
6 Going to School 29
7 Death of Mother 38
8 The Third Grade 43
9 Stepmother 45
10 Moving to Nagoya 50
11 New Home in Nagoya 53
12 Life in Nagoya 57
13 The Coming War with America 63
14 Pacific War 67
15 Graduation 70
16 Middle School 75
17 War Time 78
18 Going Home 87
Growing Up in Korea, 1944-1951
19 So This Is Korea 93
20 Pohang 99
21 Life in Pohang 101
22 My Favorite Aunt 108
23 My Father's Brothers 111
24 Wonju 117
25 My Government Work 123
26 The Last Throes of World War II 129
27 Peace at Last 139
28 The Family Tragedy 150
29 Seoul 157
30 The Return of Duli 164
31 Carpenter Lee 168
32 Running Away from Home 171
33 Miss Laird 176
34 Methodist Mission School 181
35 Summer of 1949 200
36 The Prep School 209
37 The Korean War 216
38 Tongsan 224
39 Taegu Churches Evacuated 228
40 Pusan 232
41 Working for Uncle Sam 235
42 The Last Days in Korea 245
43 Goodbye, Korea 248
Index 251
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2004

    Inspiring

    This book is absolutely incredible. It is historically accurate, descriptive, and inspiring. She overcomes incredible odds to achieve her dream of going to America and finding a better life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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