Elizabeth Kim

Ten Thousand Sorrows

By Biography | BDD Audio

Published October 5, 2000 5:50PM (EDT)

After watching her grandfather and uncle hang her mother from a wooden rafter in their small Korean hut for conceiving a honhyol--a mixed-race child, author Elizabeth Kim was left at a Christian orphanage in postwar Seoul. Soon after she was adopted by a childless Fundamentalist pastor and his wife in the United States. Unfamiliar with Western customs and language, but terrified that she would be sent back to the orphanage, Kim trained herself to be the perfect child. But just as her Western features doomed her in Korea, so her Asian features served as a constant reminder that she was an outsider in this all-white environment.

After escaping her adoptive parents' home, only to find herself in an abusive marriage, Kim finally makes a break for herself and her daughter by running away --something own mother could not do for her. Elizabeth Kim is now a journalist and resides in California.

"...Ten Thousand Sorrows tells one of the most harrowing stories I have ever encountered in print; it is a book that must be read by anyone serious about memoirs, the Asian-American experience, or what it means to be a woman in the twenty-first century..." --Sapphire, author of Push

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