Accessing micro-histories via fiction is probably “easy” for the reader but challenging for the writer to produce. Inserting characters and creating bridges between fact and fiction requires a focussed determination to share an account. Beasts Of A Little Land is a historical fiction debut by Korean-American writer Juhea Kim. The author was born in Cheon, Korea, and moved to Portland when she was nine. She is a Princeton University graduate and her writing has been oubkished in numerous literary magazines.
The novel spans the historical period of 1917 – 1965. It is a turbulent time for Korea. There is sufficient historical evidence and witness accounts that document the changes. But to do such a broad sweep of the country/ies is a Herculean task. It requires minute attention to detail. Perhaps it is possible because of the perspective Juhea Kim has by living in the USA. This is a book that takes a while to read. It is not a “quickie”, but like the other wonderful books on the Oneworld imprint, this too is stupendous.
Now to await Juhea Kim’s second novel. What will it be on?
Beasts of a Little Land is being distributed in India by HarperCollins India.