It seems like I'm on a big expat kick lately. I signed two new authors this past week: Dorcas Cheng-Tozun and Suzanne Kamata, and both are expats who live/d in Asia. Dorcas is a second generation Chinese-American who hilariously (and poignantly) writes about her attempts to acclimate to life in an industrial city in China, where she and her husband are building their business; Suzanne's middle grade book, HOME BASE, tells the story of a baseball-playing boy who, after spending three years in the US, returns to Japan to find that he is now an outsider in his hometown.
I think that one of the reasons that I am so drawn to these authors' stories (and to that of Susan Blumberg-Kason!) is that they offer unique glimpses into worlds we know little about. China and Japan have cultures that are so different from America's, and it is fascinating to be able to gain insight into the mindsets and perspectives of people living there.
Growing up as an adopted Korean in a rural, white town didn't afford many opportunities to learn about my own heritage. When I went away to Amherst, I became totally engrossed in Korean music, film, and food (and still am), and because I am a big language and history nerd, I also starting taking Mandarin classes and Japanese tea ceremony tutorials.
So in celebration of my new authors, I am going to share one of my all-time favorite K-pop songs from college. It's verrrry catchy!