It’s been nearly one year since I attended my first literature festival as a debut author. Cheltenham Literary Festival invited me to discuss White Chrysanthemum before it had even reached bookshop shelves. A year has passed, many translations have been published around the world, and I’m headed back to Cheltenham to speak on a panel with Korean American author Min Jin Lee (with her fabulous novel, Pachinko). What an amazing journey I’ve had since stepping off the train in Cheltenham Spa last year–I’m so pleased to return because it feels like I have come full circle. ❤️🙏🤗 Come by, say hi, and take some books home with you!
Translated into German, White Chrysanthemum becomes And Above Me The Sea. I love the cover, the poetic title and the timing. It’s the day after the autumnal equinox and the days grow darker from here. I hope German readers fall in love with Hana and Emi. I hope the story of the ‘comfort women’ translates across language and border and personal experience. I hope so much for this novel. ❤️
Some days are better than others. These books of beautiful poems arrived today and I can’t wait to get lost in them. Poems are meant to be read, re-read, read aloud, chewed over and discussed so they can sink into the marrow of our bones and bond with our souls. Here’s to a soul-bonding weekend 📚🥂
This Saturday, 22 September is the Milton Keynes Literary Festival and I’m very much looking forward to this event. Join me for a Book Club talk about White Chrysanthemum. We’ll discuss the book, ‘comfort women’, haenyeo divers, Hana and Emi, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about writing, publishing, and first books (and the trials of writing the second)! More info here: MKLITFEST
The UK 🇬🇧 paperback for White Chrysanthemum is out today! This year has been an amazing journey and I’m extremely thankful to everyone who made this book happen. Thank you for believing in this novel, for falling in love with Hana and Emi, and for sharing the story of the Korean ‘comfort women’ with the world. Writing this book has changed my life. Thank you to everyone who has read it and sent me messages of support. I will never forget what happened to the ‘comfort women’. They remain always in my thoughts and hopefully in yours. We live on when we are remembered by those who follow, whether or not our lives are written into history. #neverforget
I’m here on this cold, drizzly day anticipating this wonderful event tonight with Wu Ming-Yi and Lee Randall. When I was a student writing my novel, I had no idea of the life that awaited me. I’m so pleased to be here, honored to be among so many brilliant writers, and humbled by this beautiful event. ‘Digging into Trauma’ is an apt title for our session as both our novels travel far below the comfort of normal lives, venturing into the grief stricken, the lost and the painful. Within those lives there are also moments of beauty, love and sometimes forgiveness. It is in these lives we can hope to one day find peace.
Arrive a bit early to listen to us read writing from survivors of torture. This important event highlights true stories from real people suffering today.
Here it is again, the Italian book trailer for Figlie del Mare, available now in Italy from Longanesi:
Here’s the beautiful new cover and book club discussion questions for the paperback launch of White Chrysanthemum this September. My publishers have done an amazing job, and I’m honored to share the tragic story of the Korean ‘comfort women’ with readers everywhere.
I’ll be at the Edbookfest this year to talk about my book, White Chrysanthemum, along with Wu Ming-Yi and his wonderful book, The Stolen Bicycle. I’ll also be supporting Amnesty International’s Imprisoned Writers Series by reading from the work of Freedom From Torture survivors, along with Antti Tuomainen. Details for both events are below:
Sunday, 19 August 2018, 7:00pm
DIGGING INTO TRAUMA
Heartbreaking family sagas are played out against the backdrop of social revolution in the nail-biting historical dramas by Mary Lynn Bracht and Wu Ming-Yi. Set in Korea, Bracht’s White Chrysanthemum features two sisters suddenly separated by war while Wu’s The Stolen Bicycle has a novelist tracking the mystery behind his father’s disappearance when he was a boy.
Location: Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre, 7:00-8:00pm
ARRIVE TO THE VENUE EARLY FOR A READING FROM FREEDOM FROM TORTURE:
WOMEN EMPOWERING WOMEN
Every survivor of torture has different needs. Freedom from Torture offers counselling and therapeutic creative writing services in centres across the UK. Today’s writing reflects ideas of sisterhood and female rights and comes from Freedom from Torture survivors. Reading the work are Mary Lynn Bracht and Antti Tuomainen.
Part of our Freedom and Equality series of events.
Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre, 5:30-6:15pm
FREE: Tickets available from the Box Office on the day of the event
What does freedom mean to you? The Edinburgh International Book Festival’s young programmers, Codename F, have been exploring different aspects of Freedom and now they want to hear from you! Send them your thoughts and see them displayed in their specially curated Freedom to be Heard event at the Book Festival on 14 August. Find out how you can get involved here: bit.ly/FreedomCallout