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Publishers WeeklyStarred Review.
Trenka shakes up literary expectations in a beautiful, ponderous record of moving back to her birth country, Korea. Adopted as an infant, Trenka (The Language of Blood) was raised in the U.S.; in her latest, she faces lifelong feelings of inadequacy stirred by her move there, following an expired marriage (and several visits). Trenka uses her struggle for acceptance in Korea-her blossoming relationships with blood relatives, her struggle to achieve fluency in Korean-to re-examine a life of similar challenges in America. Trenka employs anecdotes, lists, newspaper clippings and other sources to create a multi-pronged approach to the idea of "home," though some techniques (like odd collections of key words) can be a distraction. Trenka tackles her bleak material with courage and grace, raising interesting questions, but her charm also shines in simpler memories, like her account of childhood piano lessons gone awry.
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