EAST GOES WEST (inscribed) by KANG, Younghill (1898-1972)

EAST GOES WEST (inscribed)

Edition: First edition

New York: Scribner's, 1937. Yellow cloth stamped in red. pp (6), 401. Spine very lightly yellowed; page edges yellowed; soft bump to outer corners of covers; endpapers tanned; else a VG clean and unworn jacketless copy. Inscribed by the author "Dorothy R. Sewell, with best wishes, very sincerely, Younghill Kang, June 5-1950, 406 Prospect St., New Haven - Conn." (a little smearing to the date and address). Said to be the second Korean-American novel, albeit it is a fictionalized memoir, like his first novel. "Kang at first wrote in Korean and Japanese, switching to English only in 1928 and under the tutelage of his American wife, Frances Keeley. He worked as an editor for the Encyclopædia Britannica and taught at New York University, where his colleague Thomas Wolfe read the opening chapters of his novel The Grass Roof and recommended it to Scribners publishing house. The book was admired by such other authors as Rebecca West and H. G. Wells, and was considered for a movie adaptation by Hollywood.The Grass Roof was well received in its time, since it seemed to confirm American disdain for Korea. East Goes West, however, criticized the United States and therefore was less popular until the multicultural movement gave it renewed attention." - Wikipedia. The present book was reprinted as a Penguin Classic in 2019. "Having fled Japanese-occupied Korea for the gleaming promise of the United States with nothing but four dollars and a suitcase full of Shakespeare to his name, the young, idealistic Chungpa Han arrives in a New York teeming with expatriates, businessmen, students, scholars, and indigents. Struggling to support his studies, he travels throughout the United States and Canada, becoming by turns a traveling salesman, a domestic worker, and a farmer, and observing along the way the idealism, greed, and shifting values of the industrializing twentieth century. Part picaresque adventure, part shrewd social commentary, East Goes West casts a sharply satirical eye on the demands and perils of assimilation. It is a masterpiece not only of Asian American literature but also of American literature." - from the Penguin edition.

Condition: Binding: Hardcover.

Book ID: 50856
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