Last week for Thursday’s cultural post, I introduced the idea of han. And the book I’m going to recommend today is one that helped me to better understand han. The book is One Thousand Chestnut Trees by Mira Stout, which is a fiction book for adults.
One Thousand Chestnut Trees details the lives of three generations of a Korean family and is loosely based on Stout’s own experience. Anna, the main character, knows little about the ancestry of her Boston Irish father and Korean-born mother. Feeling lost and struggling with her ethnic identity, Anna travels to Korea to piece together her family’s story.
Through Anna’s journey, One Thousand Chestnut Trees details the lives of several generations of the family. Anna learns of the losses her family incurred during the Japanese occupation and hears how the family survived through the war. And as you read, you’ll come to better understand the cultural trait of han.