I’ve been sharing some thoughts about my favorite novelists. You may already be familiar with many of them, but I hope you’ll find some new favorites of your own in this list.
Only one, but it’s a beauty
Sonya Chung has written only one novel so far, and it’s a beauty. Long for this World is about a war photographer who is injured in Iraq and goes home to recover in New York.
“Home” is an ambiguous concept for her, since she has spent the past decade traveling to all the world’s worst places, preserving images and losing people. When she learns that her father has abruptly left her mother and gone to visit his brother in Korea – the first time he has returned to his home country in decades – the daughter goes to find him, bringing her cameras, her childlike Korean, her weariness and her curiosity about this mysterious notion of family.
According to whom?
Chung was 37 when Long for this World was published – a late bloomer, according to some standards of the literary world. This, of course, ignores her many published and lauded stories and essays. And it’s a nonsensical standard to begin with (says the writer who also published her first novel at 37).
In response, Chung went on to found Bloom, a literary website that features writers whose first books were published when they were 40 or older. The site’s tagline is “’Late’ according to whom?”
You can find Sonya Chung’s writing all over the Web. What you won’t find – yet – is her second novel. Wait for it. Watch for it. It’ll be worth it.