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The foreign student : a novel
Susan Choi
Adult Fiction CHOI

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Love develops between two troubled people from vastly different worlds in this impressive debut. In 1955, traumatized Korean refugee Chang, or Chuck, as he is renamed by an American soldier, arrives at college in Sewanee, Tenn. Haunted by his war experiences, he lives in seclusion until he meets Katherine Monroe, a New Orleans heiress. Estranged from her family, Katherine, too, is mired in the past, having begun an affair at age 14 with an English professor nearly 30 years her senior. As their unlikely friendship develops, the two are sexually drawn to each other and enter into a brief but passionate affair. Choi evokes the terrain of the Tennessee mountains with a cinematic touch. She also displays a keen eye for the courtly manners of a small Southern town. But it is in her beautifully detailed evocation of the rich, albeit scarred emotional landscapes of her characters that she is at her best‘grave, clear-eyed and artless. Indeed, the paths that bring Chuck and Katherine together are more convincingly traced than their eventual relationship, which at times seems somewhat contrived, the one weakness in a work full of ambition and considerable talent. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Set in Sewanee, TN, this first novel unravels the stories of 28-year-old Katherine Monroe and her friend "Chuck" Chang Ahn, a 25-year-old Korean-born student. Both characters have complex histories. For instance, at the age of 14, Katherine became involved with an English professor, a college roommate of her father's during his days at Sewanee. Equally poignant is Chuck's experience during the war in Korea, when he served as a translator for the United States. These tales, and a few others linking minor and major characters, are loosely woven together in a fashion reminiscent of the writing of Amy Tan. However, the reader is unable to gain a strong sense of a single character before being moved to the next. Hence, when the story lines shift, the individual reader is left with a sense of confusion and disconnection. A good effort, but not recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/98.]‘Shirley N. Quan, Orange Cty. P.L., Fountain Valley, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Chang "Chuck" Ahn
Emotionally damaged; worked as a translator for the United States during the Korean War.
College student

Katherine Monroe
Age: 20s
Having a secret affair with a professor her father's age.

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