“Women write words on paper”, Honolulu by Alan Brennert

The above title was a recommendation by a fellow friend and colleague to listen to on CD/Book format. I have it on my mp3 player and on discs for the car rides to work. The radio in my thirteen year old Ford is so dated that the security sticker on the library CD’s keep it from playing in the system.

Yes, admittedly, I am slow to the technology movement that makes our equipment multitask.

I am still adjusting to the voice of Ali Ahn who narrates the unabridged version of Honolulu. The door of historical fiction opens chambers into my heart deftly and like a practiced lover I surrender quickly in its hands.

The story begins with a Korean daughter named “Regrettable” who thinks that the shape of her nose is why her mother treats her with so much unkindness…I have just started in the section where Regret learns that the scratching inked characters on the paper lead to another world of meaning and wonder when her older brother reads to her a torn page found on the ground. As a girl of marriageable age, Regret will not be considered worth educating at the early turn of the twentieth century Korea under Japanese imperialism.

Fast forward to the turn of the twenty-first century where men and women as celebrity status name their offspring “Apple”, “Mason” “North”, and “George”. I find the ritual of naming and names almost meaningless in present American culture. Perhaps, it is also because I have no offspring. But if the archangels visited me with news of an immaculate conception of a baby girl, I would name her Guadalupe for the Holy Mother. It just tickles me to imagine a little Korean girl growing up in the world with a Hispanic name. Though in these Americas, Koreans came to the North and Central as well as the South American parts.

I have a passion for giftedness in girl/children and the journeys some of us undertake to obtain an education. Have you seen Barbara Streisand’s movie, Yentl? Go rent it, if your first answer was no.

Education at various times in my life has symbolized the best in human endeavors and philosophical aspirations. I am in love with the world of ideas and the players that choose to come forward as public intellectuals who pull out chairs for more to feast at the table.


About heartbluestockings

All posts are original intellectual property. Copyright 2010 Hae Jung Kwon. All rights reserved.
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