Secondhand World (2006) Growing up in Albany, N.Y., in the 1960s and '70s, Isadora "Isa" Myung Hee Sohn is caught between her Korean self and her American world,… 2006-10-03 Fiction Knopf
Book Review

Secondhand World (2006)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Oct 03, 2006; Writer: Katherine Min; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Knopf

Growing up in Albany, N.Y., in the 1960s and '70s, Isadora ''Isa'' Myung Hee Sohn is caught between her Korean self and her American world, fumbling to make sense of them both. It's a standard cross-cultural story, but in her debut novel, Katherine Min takes care not to slip into stereotype by admirably capturing the depth and complexity within Isa and her immigrant family. Isa's adolescence unfolds in short chapters that read like impressionistic sketches — from the tragic loss of her brother to the realization of her parents' fallibility to the sharp pangs of first love — that resonate strongly in Min's quietly affecting Secondhand World.

Originally posted Sep 29, 2006 Published in issue #900 Oct 06, 2006 Order article reprints