Monday, January 16, 2012

Krys Lee

Krys Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in California and Washington, and studied in the United States and England. She was a finalist for Best New American Voices in 2006, and her work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Narrative Magazine, California Quarterly, Pacific Ties, The Korea Times, and Asia Weekly.

Viking will release her debut short story collection Drifting House in early February.

From a Q & A at the author's website:

DRIFTING HOUSE is a beautiful collection of short stories that portray life in South Korea, North Korea, and as a Korean-American in the US. They depict a fractured world. Where did the stories come from: personal experience, observations, or something else?

The stories arose from personal experiences as well as my observations and reactions toward the societies around me. Fractured is an interesting, important word for me; being animmigrant in the United States with parents who were afraid of America lends itself to a kind of fracturing. Our house was a Little Korea, and I was fascinated by the homes of American friends that I’d visit because their way of being was so culturally different. There were other, more violent and painful fractures that influenced my life and inevitably, my stories. But my sense of story is usually more Jamesian; the autobiographical impulse is buried in character and thematic obsessions rather than in the plot.

The world around me was also a large influence. When I wrote “The Salaryman’, for instance, I was in a relationship with a Korean man who was diminishing as a personality while working inhuman hours at a Korean conglomerate. “Drifting House’ was written after I became friends with activists and North Korean defectors. I cried many times, hearing and reading stories about people I knew, before this sadness changed into anger at a regime that destroys its own people. “The Goose Father’ was also written after people I knew personally began departing South Korea, leaving their husbands behind to fund their family’s flight to an overseas education for their children. Though all sacrifice in this situation, my sympathies were with...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue