Skip to product information
1 of 1

The Magical Language of Others: A Memoir

Regular price $22.95 USD
Regular price Sale price $22.95 USD
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.
Author: E. J. Koh

The Magical Language of Others is a powerful and aching love story in letters, from mother to daughter. After living in America for over a decade, Eun Ji Koh's parents return to South Korea for work, leaving fifteen-year-old Eun Ji and her brother behind in California. Overnight, Eun Ji finds herself abandoned and adrift in a world made strange by her mother's absence. Her mother writes letters in Korean over the years seeking forgiveness and love--letters Eun Ji cannot fully understand until she finds them years later hidden in a box.

As Eun Ji translates the letters, she looks to history--her grandmother Jun's years as a lovesick wife in Daejeon, the loss and destruction her grandmother Kumiko witnessed during the Jeju Island Massacre--and to poetry, as well as her own lived experience to answer questions inside all of us. Where do the stories of our mothers and grandmothers end and ours begin? How do we find words--in Korean, Japanese, English, or any language--to articulate the profound ways that distance can shape love?

The Magical Language of Others weaves a profound tale of hard-won selfhood and our deep bonds to family, place, and language, introducing--in Eun Ji Koh--a singular, incandescent voice.



Publisher: Tin House Books
Published: 01/07/2020
Pages: 203
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 0.80lbs
Size: 8.90h x 5.80w x 0.90d
ISBN: 9781947793385

Review Citation(s):
Kirkus Reviews 10/15/2019
Library Journal 12/01/2019 pg. 93
Booklist 12/15/2019 pg. 87
Foreword 12/26/2019
Shelf Awareness 01/10/2020

About the Author
Koh, E. J.: - E. J. Koh is the author of the poetry collection A Lesser Love, winner of the Pleiades Press Editors Prize, and co-translator of Yi Won's The World's Lightest Motorcycle, forthcoming from Zephyr Press. Her poems, translations, and stories have appeared in Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and World Literature Today, among others. She earned her MFA in Literary Translation and Creative Writing from Columbia University, and is completing the PhD program at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is a recipient of MacDowell and Kundiman fellowships.

Out of Stock?

Most items can be backordered!

If you'd like to place a backorder, click the button below to fill out the item information and we'll create the order for you.

More details on backorders here.

Contact Us