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Ten Thousand Sorrows

Posted on

Ten Thousand Sorrows

Current Status:
In Season
Nonfiction, Memoir

We gave it a B+

An ode to a lost mother, a story of abandonment, poverty, and emigration, with against-all-odds happiness in the end — sound familiar? Well, Elizabeth Kim’s Ten Thousand Sorrows is no Angela’s Ashes, but a horrific memoir of loss. When the author — the illegitimate daughter of a Korean girl and an American soldier — was a young child, she watched as her mother was hanged for having brought shame upon her family. Kim was literally caged at an orphanage until American fundamentalists adopted her. Married off at 17 to an abusive fellow church member, she did not summon the courage to reclaim her life until the birth of her own child. This unflinching, beautifully rendered work is part treatise on ”honor killings,” part heart-wrenching look at how a soul can be twisted into self-hatred. B+