Still Life With Rice: A Young American Woman Discovers the Life and Legacy of Her Korean Grandmother (2020)

Still Life With Rice: A Young American Woman Discovers the Life and Legacy of Her Korean Grandmother Helie Lee Hetie Lee Still Life With Rice A Young American Woman Discovers the Life and Legacy of Her Korean Grandmother A captivating memoir of a courageous survivor Publishers Weekly and a window onto the panorama of modern Korean history St Petersburg Times this is a radiant and engaging story about a young American
  • Title: Still Life With Rice: A Young American Woman Discovers the Life and Legacy of Her Korean Grandmother
  • Author: Helie Lee Hetie Lee
  • ISBN: 9780684827117
  • Page: 427
  • Format: Paperback
Still Life With Rice: A Young American Woman Discovers the Life and Legacy of Her Korean Grandmother Helie Lee Hetie Lee A captivating memoir of a courageous survivor Publishers Weekly and a window onto the panorama of modern Korean history St Petersburg Times this is a radiant and engaging story about a young American woman s discovery about the life of her Korean grandmother.Helie Lee s grandmother, Hongyong Baek, came of age in a unified but socially repressive Korea, where she w A captivating memoir of a courageous survivor Publishers Weekly and a window onto the panorama of modern Korean history St Petersburg Times this is a radiant and engaging story about a young American woman s discovery about the life of her Korean grandmother.Helie Lee s grandmother, Hongyong Baek, came of age in a unified but socially repressive Korea, where she was taught the roles that had been prescribed for her obedient daughter, demure wife, efficient household manager Ripped from her home first during the Japanese occupation and again during the bloody civil war that divided her country, Hongyong fought to save her family by drawing from her own talents and values Over the years she proved her spirit indomitable, providing for her husband children by running a successful restaurant, building a profitable opium business, and eventually becoming adept at the healing art of ch iryo When she was forced to leave her country, she moved her family to California, where she reestablished her ch iryo practice.Writing in her grandmother s voice, Helie Lee recreates an individual experience in a unique culture that is both seductively exotic and strangely familiar With wit and verve, she claims her own Korean identity and illuminates the intricate experiences of Asian American women in this century.
Still Life With Rice: A Young American Woman Discovers the Life and Legacy of Her Korean Grandmother Helie Lee Hetie Lee

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One thought on “Still Life With Rice: A Young American Woman Discovers the Life and Legacy of Her Korean Grandmother

  1. La Petite Américaine

    Sex, drugs, tradition, strong women, and the history of the Korean War This is my kinda book All memoirs should be written like this One of the most touching books I ve ever read and it was given an iffy rating on goodcleanreads goodcleanreads 20 , just confirming all the that this book kicks ass.

  2. Regina

    A woman must always be the strong stone, for she is the foundation of a family However, your husband must never be threatened by your power and will Let him believe it is his Peace and happiness rest upon you and you alone Guide him, lead him to his full potential, and most important, open his heart toward the light of God, and also your unborn children s pg 303 Be good to your mother, for there will be no one else in thie whole world who will love you dearly pg 305 And now these three remain f [...]

  3. Oliver Matheson

    One of the fascinating and inspiring stories I ve ever read, it s absolutely unbelievable from start to finish

  4. Debby Allen

    I ve hemmed and hawed about how I feel about this book It s a good story, well told It reads like a morality tale, all the riches they got from the opium trade disappeared like that, land stolen from them as soon as they bought it with the opium money The hardships and utter stubbornness, the callousness and overdone in some cases charity And to anyone who says Korea is a patriarchy Ha Resonates well with Fall of Giants, in that just because you re born into an upper class doesn t automatically [...]

  5. Miranda Kerr-bloom

    def one of the greatest memoir for me theres no page in this book that you wouldnt want to savor because the way the author described all the intricate details of death,love, endings and new beginnings in biting humor made me feel as if i am one of the characters during the war and trust me it was not a good experience its like i am hanging on a thin branch that might snap any moment but its because of the terror and chill that it brought to my bones that i like it all the it made me experience [...]

  6. Cheryl

    I LOVED this book Granted, I am biased in my adoration of Korea This book further clinches that adoration What a resilient people The real life aspect of it only makes it appealing A wonderful read from start to finish

  7. Ellen Matheson

    The title says it all this memoir is a work of art Helie Lee transcribes with beautiful clarity the story of her Korean grandmother, a woman whose heart was broken and mended countless times during eighty years of life In the categories of both Christian memoir and literary nonfiction, this book surely ranks among the best.

  8. Chuck

    This book tells the story of the author s grandmother who lived in Korea during the first half of the twentieth century The author takes on the voice of the grandmother and gives a first perosn account of this turbulent time in history It is similar to the book Wild Swans which tells the story of 20th century China through the eyes of three generations of the author s female relatives This book is obviously not that comprehensive, but it is a gripping tale of the hardships that the Korean people [...]

  9. Tien

    Truly an enjoyable read, I read it in one sitting Only the first and last chapter was the writer actually in the book itself as the body of the book is written fiction like through the viewpoint of the writer s grandmother.This book follows the writer s grandmother from her early days in Korea North in the early Japanese colonisation to running away withe her husband and children to China and returning to Korea North when the Japanese lost the war to once again running away from home, this time [...]

  10. Biblio Curious

    Awesome descriptions and memorable characters It s a must read for anyone interested in Korean culture, history or Kyobos Korean Americans It s also a great read for anyone whose grandparents emigrated from abroad It shows us readers how different our grandparents lives probably were The grandmother in this story was very modest and didn t brag about her successes The themes of this book are very relevant in today s fast paced society.

  11. Cathy

    Though written in 1996, the story of this Korean family separated by the 38th parallel is fascinating to read whether one is interested in the politics of the region or the upcoming 2018 winter games.From daughter to grandmother we hear about a life of duty, adventure and most of all love The traditional Koran society, the trials of occupation and war, the separations and reunion of family.Helie Lee s grandmother is a woman of unshakeable conviction and great heart pg 16 says her cousin when Hel [...]

  12. Erin

    I had no idea what to expect with this book but a friend recommended it and I m so glad she did The first chapter the author was a bit over the top and I had a hard time connecting with her But as soon as she started the portion about her grandmother s life, I was hooked What an amazing woman The hardships she underwent were immense And she persevered and reinvented herself time and time again I knew very little about North and South Korea and after reading this memoir, it prompted me to read a [...]

  13. Taylor

    I enjoyed the story but I didn t think the writing was 5 star worthy However, I would still recommend this book I loved learning about the split between North and South Korea The history is harrowing and this book tells a heroic story.

  14. Tiffany

    p 17 Our first responsibility must be to the family and not to the individual It is our duty as women to raise future generations Korean women consider our positions as mothers and nurturers to be the most important job Asserting our rights outside the household is not worth sacrificing the family s well being p.36 Ironing Mother made it looks so simple and graceful She would take a sip of water and spray the fabric evenly from between puckered lips, then glide the iron across Father s wrinkled [...]

  15. K

    I m going to give this four stars for the first 75%, even though it fell apart for me toward the end Still Life with Rice reminded me very much of Wild Swans Three Daughters of China a young woman s chronicle of her grandmother s life in war torn Southeast Asia told from her Korean grandmother s perspective It s pretty amazing to contemplate all the things Helie Lee s grandmother went through and her courage throughout married off in an arranged marriage which, fortunately, developed into a lovi [...]

  16. Laura

    Engrossing and insightful memoir of the life of the author s Korean grandmother, Hongyong Baek, from 1912 to the 1970s, a period during which Korea experienced Japanese occupation, WWII, the resulting split between North and South, the Korean War, and the jarring effects thereafter searches for refuge, tent cities, impoverished citizens, death, disease, broken families, attempts to rebuild Throughout, Hongyong s personal struggles are enough to bear a crippled sister left to die ultimately survi [...]

  17. Christine

    The author of this book, Helie Lee, recounts her grandmother Hongyong Baek s life in North Korea, from childhood up through her eventual move to California late in life The time period covered is extensive, and while I was immediately put off by cultural s I atavistically rejected, I was slowly drawn into this woman s life story, and became fascinated to keep learning about the history and society of North Korea throughout the 1900 s Certain sections of this book were pretty hard to read, and th [...]

  18. Tami

    I don t think the author is the best writer, but the true story about her grandmother makes a great read.The grandmother, Hongyong, lived in Korea and then moved to China to escape the Japanese occupation They then returned to Korea during the Korean war and most of the family made it to South Korea before the border closed The story is about her life her parents, sisters, husband, children and all of her business enterprises including smuggling opium, selling sesame oil and starting a restauran [...]

  19. Katie

    I liked this book about the author s grandmother from Korea It chronicles her grandmother s early life in a wealthy Korean household, through her marriage, her move to China to escape Japanese rule in Korea, the opium empire she built in China, her escape from North to South Korea during that war, and her immigration to America It was an extraordinary and difficult life with some aspects to be admired and some behaviors that were shocking It definitely held my interest and helped me learn about [...]

  20. Nicole Herzog

    I really loved this book I couldn t stop talking about it to everyone around me The writing was good, the detail was amazing, and the stories were perfect I love that one woman s life could take you through so much of what happened in Korea in the 20th century.She lives through Japanese Colonization,the World Wars, the Korean Wareverything And as a young mom with many kids and an often struggling husband Through one woman s life I was able to learn so much history and understand it better Her st [...]

  21. Iris Lee

    I loved this book I was totally immersed in the story biography of a Koran woman since her early childhood in Pyongyang in the early part of the 20th Century, born to a wealthy merchant family, till modern times in California I admire the courage she has shown as many others did, no doubt during the Japanese colonial era, and later during the Korean war and her escape to S Korea How much tenacity to keep her family as safe as possible I was touched by the love in her arranged marriage, and I was [...]

  22. Emily

    I am so unfamiliar with Korean history, so this was a refreshingly new read for me I was continually surprised at how recent this all took place and how little I know about it, yet how much I know about what went on in Europe at the same time I thought this book had strong characters but wonder how indicative they were of the other women and men at the time I also feel like many similar stories I ve read center around an abusive husband and women s attempts to accept overcome her life as a wife [...]

  23. Jeffrey Ogden Thomas

    A fantastic narrative, a personal flight through the last hundred years of East Asian history I had considered this book for my tenth grade World Literature class, but decided it is probably appropriate for history class The writing is strictly first person narrative That choice of first person voice becomes a bit suspect after about fifty pages, as the author must tell us about external historical elements in order to explain some of the Grandmother s actions.Fortunately, for the sake of veris [...]

  24. Jenncha

    I don t mind reading historical novels, and this one started out very interestingly in my opinion It did a good job of informing the reader about how the narrator lived in pre Japan occupied Korea And then suddenly, halfway through the book I could hardly stand the author s writing style It seemed like she was trying to force a metaphoric writing style, which she wasn t particularly good at It was a bit of a struggle to finishbut I had to, for class P And the endI thought everything came togethe [...]

  25. Becky

    This is a fascinating historical cultural personal memoir by Helie Lee through the eyes of her grandmother As basically an American Korean, Helie, is impatient with her old world mother and grandmother Using this as impetus, she explores and learns about the amazing life of these two women but mainly the grandmother Both evolve and defy a very traditional culture out of necessity and personal courage and skill Grandmother and her family flee to China for a period where she shows amazing talent a [...]

  26. Shannon

    A really interesting frame story of a young Korean American woman who initially hates that her mother and grandmother constantly remind her of her different and unique heritage, but who in her coming of age travels realizes the amazing odyssey her grandmother endured as Korea s war changed the country and its people forever There are some fascinating points about expected family and gender roles, how arranged marriage worked and both the stict structures and allowances within expected roles Part [...]

  27. Anne Robinson

    A woman s memoir of her grandmother s life during the time of the Korean War Although it is not a book that would commonly be picked up by your average teenager, I truly enjoyed this book In a society of women s rights and equal opportunity, my eyes were opened to the hardships faced by women in the early twentieth century, particularly in North Korea This made the strong grandmother stand out even as an amazing woman, and I so loved reading the unveiling of her story through times of love and [...]

  28. Linneah

    This book was an awesome read from start to finish I especially enjoyed how the granddaughter the author of this book began by introducing herself and then at the end came back to how she was going to interview her grandmother Overall her grandmother s story is amazing It is one that touches your heart, and makes you gasp out loud It describes the very essence of life, without leaving out the good, the bad and the ugly After reading it, I won t leave the same I ve learned even about the very he [...]

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