Forgotten Country (Paperback)

By Catherine Chung

Riverhead Books, 9781594486524, 304pp.

Publication Date: March 5, 2013

March 2012 Indie Next List

“On the day of her sister's birth, Janie is told by her Korean grandmother that one girl child in each generation dies. This statement sets the stage for Janie's 'disappearance' and 'reemergence.' Laced with Korean folklore and culture, the story moves seamlessly from Korea to Middle America and reflects the travails of an immigrant family both culturally and emotionally. The writing in this debut is poetic, spare, and exquisite. It would be a great pick for a book group.”
— Biddy Kehoe, Hockessin Book Shelf, Hockessin, DE
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A Booklist Top 10 First Novels of 2012 pick
A Bookpage Best Books of 2012 pick

A richly emotional portrait of a family that had me spellbound from page one. Cheryl Strayed, bestselling author of Wild

The night before Janie's sister, Hannah, is born, her grandmother tells her a story: Since the Japanese occupation of Korea, their family has lost a daughter in every generation, and Janie is told to keep Hannah safe. Years later, when Hannah inexplicably cuts all ties and disappears, Janie goes to find her.Thus begins a journey thatwill force her to confront her family's painful silence, the truth behind her parents sudden move to America twenty years earlier, and her own conflicted feelings toward Hannah.
Weaving Korean folklore within a modern narrative of immigration and identity, Forgotten Countryis a fierce exploration of the inevitability of loss, the conflict between obligation and freedom, and a family struggling to find its way out of silence and back to one another.

About the Author

Catherine Chung was born in Evanston, Illinois, and grew up in New York, New Jersey, and Michigan. She studied mathematics at the University of Chicago and received her MFA from Cornell. She is one of Granta s New Voices, and lives in New York City."