House of the Winds (Emerging Voices (Hardcover))

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9781566563055: House of the Winds (Emerging Voices (Hardcover))
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1960s Korea. A girl stands in the middle of a sunny patch with her mother. The air is full of butterflies (the souls of little children in afternoon naps) and secrets (although they were not secrets at the time).

"House of Winds" is a portrait of a family whose lives have been deeply affected by the tumultuous long years of Japanese rule and The Korean War. And it is the story of one mother and one daughter. Young Wife is a magic-wand mother who tells stories of the times when tigers smoked pipes. One day her white summer blouse runs deep red, mango-red and azalea pink. Who knows from where this sudden sadness sprouted?

Her youngest daughter is our guide through this world in which an American electric iron is so powerful it sets off a coup d'etat. The daughter begins to see "how Korean women, descendents of the she-bear woman and the son of the king of heaven, lived in the folds of history...laughing, wailing, spirit-cajoling, poetry-writing, tear-hiding, bosom-bracing, scheming, fire-breathing."

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From the Author:

A book's life, I think, begins long before a single sentence gets to be written. It is a mysterious process. It often begins with an idea or an image that flashes through your mind. And unlike the others, this particular image or idea somehow takes root and sprouts a leaf or two. And it grows into a leafy tree! House of the Winds began like that for me. The particular image from which the book germinated was a very vivid one. It is the image that always came to me whenever I thought of my childhood in Korea. I am not sure but it has to be the earliest memory of mine as it seems to precede all other bits of memory I have. And yet, it is the clearest memory I have. In fact, it's so clear, I often feel like I am right there, standing with my mother in the middle of the sunny cabbage patch behind the little house of ours in Seoul. It is a sunny

spring afternoon. The sunlight is so phosphorous - it's like fine gold powder let loose from a bottle - I can almost grab it. And the white butterflies are still there, hovering over the cabbages in white bloom. It was the one perfect, blissfully happy moment every child has, although too fleetingly. I made it the beginning of the book. A little girl standing in a sparkling, sun-soaked world her mother created behind their small, wooden baby blue gate. It was a bright and dreamy

world of flowers, starched clothes, waxed floors and made-up stories. Before the girl began to discover the stories of women and Korea. Growing up in Korea was like a long story session. Women spilled stories and tears. It seemed there wasn't a woman whose life hadn't been touched by some sort of tragedy. It was the 60s and 70s and Korea was still recovering from the trauma of the long and harsh

Japanese rule and the devastating Korean War. Some stories I remember and most I don't but it must have been these stories that from an early age made me feel so deeply for these sad but strong women. They made me think about what it meant to be a girl, a daughter, a wife, a mother in a deeply Confucian Korea. And part of a family. For Korean women even at the time didn't quite exist outside the context of family. Of course, House of the Winds, like most fiction, comes from my own distilled experience but I was also drawing upon the trove of the uniquely Korean experience: historical as well as mythical. As I mentioned, it began with a very vivid image from my early childhood. Then it went from there. In the first chapter, I wanted to capture the first moment when the outside world intrudes upon a child's perfect one. Sometimes, it comes in a single shattering jolt, but here they come in successive little incidents. It first takes the form of inexplicable sadness the child feels when she sees her mother's embroidered blouse run colors in the rain. Then one day, she scoots out after her brother to the street corner where a doctor's beautiful wife was murdered on a stifling summer night. Soon the garrulous Pumpkin Wife enters her house with stories and the word "father," making the girl "a child with questions." The child's perfect world is punctured. The girl realizes that her mother -- whom she thought was perfectly happy with her children behind the blue gate -- might not be. House of the Winds is crowded with women who lived in a Korea that no longer exists. I was their exorcist of sorts. I wanted to tell their stories. But ultimately, I was drawing a portrait of a Korean family that is at once unique but also immediately familiar. I remember instantly recognizing the worlds and their emotional maps when I read books like Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Eudora Welty's One Writer's Beginnings, even though geographically and culturally, they couldn't be more apart from one another. They all struck a cord in me that all human beings must share. This is what I hoped to achieve.

About the Author:

Mia Yun was born and grew up in Korea. She graduated from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul and received her Master's Degree from City College of New York. She has worked as a reporter, translator and freelance writer, and is currently the Korea correspondent for the Evergreen Review. Yun now makes her home in New York City. House of the Winds is her first novel.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780140291940: House of the Winds (Penguin Readers Guide Inside)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0140291946 ISBN 13:  9780140291940
Publisher: Penguin Books, 2000
Softcover

9781840242126: House of the Winds (Summersdale Fiction)

Summer..., 2002
Softcover

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Book Description Interlink Publishing Group, Inc, United States, 2003. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. 1960s Korea. A girl stands in the middle of a sunny patch with her mother. The air is full of butterflies (the souls of little children in afternoon naps) and secrets (although they were not secrets at the time). "House of Winds" is a portrait of a family whose lives have been deeply affected by the tumultuous long years of Japanese rule and The Korean War. And it is the story of one mother and one daughter. Young Wife is a magic-wand mother who tells stories of the times when tigers smoked pipes. One day her white summer blouse runs deep red, mango-red and azalea pink. Who knows from where this sudden sadness sprouted?Her youngest daughter is our guide through this world in which an American electric iron is so powerful it sets off a coup d'etat. The daughter begins to see "how Korean women, descendents of the she-bear woman and the son of the king of heaven, lived in the folds of history.laughing, wailing, spirit-cajoling, poetry-writing, tear-hiding, bosom-bracing, scheming, fire-breathing.". Seller Inventory # FLT9781566563055

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