Kateleen holds no regrets, however, only pride in having forged a life for herself here in the U.S. as a business owner. She says she has no desire to ever return to Korea, but she has a burning desire to find her sisters with whom she lost touch so many decades before. She is hoping that this book will help with that mission. Whether she finds them or not, she will always be a part of the Aquarius Press Family.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
"As I walked through the marketplace, I promised myself that I would never die like my mother." These haunting words struck me and my editors as we read through what would become one of our great literary achievements. The Land of Silent Morning is more than just another memoir amongst memoirs, it's a validation of a life of shame, struggle, poverty, and redemption over a span of 50 years. The author, Kateleen K. Washington (nee Kyong Mi) first talked with me by phone. Her English was stilted, but I was intrigued by the intensity in her voice, her dead certainty that her life story would be a message to the world. I believe it is. Two weeks ago we hosted a pre-release party near her adopted hometown of Utica, Michigan. The people who came were not only the general public, but people from Kateleen's early years, people who knew her when she was struggling to survive in a foreign country, and her ex-husband, a man of whom she wrote quite a bit about in the book. It was interesting to see when he walked through the door with his new family that he and Kateleen tearfully hugged as if time had never moved on for either of them. During the Author Q and A, she admitted that she perhaps didn't appreciate the husband she had then, a man who had literally rescued her from a life of being an escort in South Korea's nightclubs. She says she couldn't appreciate his humor back then, but I believe she does now.