Saturday, May 14, 2011

PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOM: A GUEST REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOM
BY KYUNG-SOOK SHIN

ABOUT THE BOOK:
A million-plus-copy best seller in Korea—a magnificent English-language debut poised to become an international sensation—this is the stunning, deeply moving story of a family’s search for their mother, who goes missing one afternoon amid the crowds of the Seoul Station subway.

Told through the piercing voices and urgent perspectives of a daughter, son, husband, and mother, Please Look After Mom is at once an authentic picture of contemporary life in Korea and a universal story of family love.

You will never think of your mother the same way again after you read this book.
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kyung-sook Shin is the author of numerous works of fiction and is one of South Korea’s most widely read and acclaimed novelists. She has been honored with the Manhae Literature Prize, the Dong-in Literature Prize, and the Yi Sang Literary Prize, as well as France’s Prix de l’Inaperçu. Please Look After Mom is her first book to appear in English and will be published in nineteen countries. Currently a visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York City, she lives in Seoul.

SOME "Q & A" WITH THE AUTHOR:
Q: Please Look After Mom is written in four distinct voices: a daughter, a son, a father, and finally “Mom” herself. Why did you decide to structure the novel in this way? Which voice came to you first?

A: Human beings are multi-dimensional. But what we know about our mothers doesn’t always tell the whole story of who they are. I wanted to show a ‘Mom’ who was a complex and profound human being. As it was impossible to do this in a single person’s voice, I needed multiple narrators. In the novel, the voices of the daughter, son and father are narrated in the second person, “you” and the third person, “her”. It’s only the mother who uses the first person. I had in mind the fact that, when a woman becomes a mother, she no longer gets to speak or sometimes even think in terms of that “I”. Of the four different voices in the book, the mother’s is perhaps the most vivid and powerful. When I was writing it, it felt as though my mother’s hand had held—even gripped—my authorial hand, so that she could tell her own story.

Q: This is an extremely personal novel, and readers will undoubtedly think about their relationship with their own mothers while reading. Did you draw on your relationship with your own family while writing the book? 
 
A: My own family relationships do in fact make up the background, but the episodes in the novel were invented, or altered from reality. My own mother for example, thankfully, has never gone missing. But, speaking at a symbolic level, many mothers of our generation, I believe, have gone missing or remain neglected.
These question and answers were taken from Kyung-Sook Shin's Q&A from her publisher, Random House, and you can read the rest by going HERE!

GUEST REVIEWER AND REVIEW:
I am excited to introduce my Guest Reviewer, Carol N. Wong.

     Carol is a retired federal legal assistant, who attended Indiana University and has an AB in Psychology, MS., and Specialist degree in Counseling & Guidance. She tells me she has been an avid reader since she was very young. She loves biographies, memoirs, history, historical fiction, non-fiction, some young adult, mysteries, including thrillers, cozies and suspense, and Amish literature. As you can see, and Carol says, she is pretty eclectic, but usually will shy away from monsters, vampires, ghosts, as well as pure romances.
     Carol likes to write her reviews on her lap top in her craft room. She says, "When I read a book, I write down notes when something strikes me or a question that comes up. Later, I usually don't look at the notebook, the act of writing seems to put it in my head."
     Carol lives in the Dallas area with her husband and two cockatiels. She has a son currently working in Chengdu, China.

And now, enjoy Carol's Review of PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOM.

A bestseller in Korea and it should be here too. This is a short book that get involved in Korean traditions and family secrets.

When you read it, you may feel that it is simple but it is not. A Korean woman approaching old age gets separated from her husband in the Seoul train depot. The main focus of this book is the mother but viewed through four different sets of eyes. There is a young college educated writer daughter, and also the precious son who vows to study to get a prestigious and good paying job. Prestige and status are very important in Korea. Also, there is a father who only thinks of his wife as the mother of his children, and lastly the mother herself.

This is the first time that I have ever read a book written mostly in second person. I thought it would make the story difficult to follow but it just makes the story seem more real. It is amazing to realize that this is a translation, the writing seems so natural to me. The traditions of North and South Korea have differences. And like China, the standard language is mainly spoken around the capital with dialects in other parts. The writer daughter in the story represents the social change that is now happening in South Korea. Before, the traditional women seems meek and subordinate but as demonstrated in the book still has some power. But this book is more than a demonstration of social change, it is exploration of family secrets and complex interaction of the different persons in the family.

Even food plays a part in this story. There is tremendous amount of work that goes into the preparation of traditional food. I enjoyed the description of how the mother prepared Kimchee as that is one of my favorites. Outside of that, I think that you will be amazed at the amount of work the old mother does each day.

This book will take you on a parade of different emotions You will not be disappointed in this book. I recommend it to everyone interested in Korea and the inner workings of a family.

Carol states, "I received this book as part of the Amazon Vine Program but that did not influence my review. My thoughts are my own."
Thank you, Carol! I am so thrilled to be working with Carol and watch for some other guest reviewers in the future. It really helps me to be able to bring more books to my followers as well as look at a book from another person's perspective. 
 
GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO KIM WITH KNOPF PUBLISHING,
I HAVE ONE BRAND NEW HARD COPY OF
THIS BEST SELLER TO GIVE AWAY TO
A LUCKY READER!
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!


HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ABOVE THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WIN PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOM

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON HOW YOU FELT ABOUT HAVING A GUEST REVIEWER AND IF YOU WOULD EVER LIKE THE CHANCE TO DO THAT

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK THAT I CAN FOLLOW

+1 MORE ENTRY: VISIT RANDOM HOUSE'S WEBSITE HERE AND  COMMENT ON ONE OF THE ITEMS OF PRAISE FOR PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOM THAT WOULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO YOU ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU WANT TO READ THE BOOK
 
+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON IF YOU ARE A GOOGLE FRIEND CONNECT FOLLOWER AS I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET TO 1200 FOR A LONG TIME. IF YOU AREN'T, PLEASE SIGN UP AS IT ONLY TAKE A SECOND ...THANKS!THAT
 
  GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, MAY 29
GOOD LUCK! 

50 comments:

Book Dilettante said...

I would love to win this book!

harvee44 at yahoo.com

Book Dilettante said...

I am a GFC follower.

harvee44 at yahoo.com

Book Dilettante said...

I am interested in the fact that the mother went missing, from the interview with the author!

harvee44 at yahoo.com

debbie said...

I like that it talks about their lives, I too, am interested about the description of the mother making kimchee. It is one of my favorite foods. I would love to read this.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I am a gfc follower.
debbie
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I liked having a guest reviewer, I wouldn't mind doing it.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

catherine said...

love the interaction between mother and family and the way moms are viewed in different cultures.
charlcr(at)aol.com

catherine said...

i see carols name in every entry. its interesting hearing her point of view since she is such an avid reader.
charlcr(at)aol.com

Margie said...

This looks like a wonderful book...the backdrop of Korea and the family drama. Thanks for the giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

I enjoyed Carol's review. It's always interesting to get other points of view.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

“A great literary masterpiece [that] perfectly combines universal themes of love and loss, family dynamics, gender equality, tradition, and charity with rich Korean culture and values.”
—Lesley Stack, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Tbhe above praise seemed to cover all aspects of the book and made me interested.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

I am a long-time follower via GFC
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

lag123 said...

I have not heard of this book before. The fact that it explores family secrets in a traditional family intrigues me.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

I loved the guest review! However I am not descriptive enough to do it myself.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

Tweeted: http://twitter.com/lag32583/status/69382774271918081

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

The praise by Amanda Montei intrigued me. Mothers are sometimes never understood for the person they really are.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

I do follow via GFC.

lag110 at mchsi dot colm

traveler said...

This book would be a treasure to read and enjoy. saubleb(at)gmail(sot)com

traveler said...

I am an e-mail subscriber. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

A guest reviewer is a lovely idea. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

The praise by Karen Gaudette from the Seattle Times was wonderful and interested me greatly. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

An amazing book that is intriguing and beautiful. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I am a follower. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

The praise from the author Abraham Verghese was from the heart and meaningful. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

The guest reviewer sounds interesting and is a nice touch. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

mamabunny13 said...

I would like to win this book because one of my best friends as a young girl was from Korea so I think it would be very interesting for me.
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

mamabunny13 said...

tweet http://twitter.com/#!/mamabunny13/status/69441812435177473
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

mamabunny13 said...

Reading this praise makes me want to read it. "Please Look After Mom, especially its magical, transcendent ending, lifts the spirit as only the best writing can do.”
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

mamabunny13 said...

I am a google follower
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

Michelle M. said...

Having the four different voices is intriguing and called to me.

Michelle M. said...

I like the idea of a guest reviewer, but prefer that you continue to do the majority of the reviews. I think I'd like to be a guest reviewer, but I think I need much more practice before I'm comfortable putting my reviews on someone else's blog.

Michelle M. said...

I'm a GFC follower

Tore said...

Please enter me in contest. I would love to win this book. I find it interesting that the mother went missing. Tore923@aol.com

Pamela Keener said...

What an interesting perspective & I love Carol's review. It makes me want to pick the book right up and start reading.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I love Carol's review and would love the chance to review books too on an established blog.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I follow your blog via GFC
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Linda Kish said...

My mom was always one of my best friends so I think I would enjoy this book. I miss her wisdom.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I did enjoy your guest reviewer. I personally am not wordy enough to review anything. I just say I like it or I didn't.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I am a GFC follower...long time

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

The BookPage praise was very moving

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

bermudaonion said...

I found it interesting that the book is told from 4 different points of view. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

bermudaonion said...

I thought Carol's review was great! I would love to see more reviews by her - if you don't have the time to post them, she can write them for me! milou2ster(at)gmail.com

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I'd love to win this book because I am extremely attached to my mother, and I believe this book explores the grief of a family over a missing mother.

~Hira~
GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I would absolutely be enthralled to do a guest review on your amazing blog, although I am not quite sure I could do it justice. I think it's a novel idea, because it allows another blogger to provide their perspective, and perhaps gain a few followers, or a broader spectrum of followers via your blog.

~Hira~
GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I tweeted the giveaway:

http://twitter.com/#!/inluvwithbookz/status/70789522232848384

~Hira~
GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

~Enamored Soul~ said...

"Haunting . . . Fervent . . . but also sinuous and elusive . . . Details, unembellished and unsentimental, are the individual cells that form this novel’s beating heart." says Anna Mundow, Boston Sunday Globe.

Those words, although making up only 1/3 of the review/praise were enough for me to decide I most definitely need to read this book!

~Hira~
GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I'm a GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~

~Hira~
GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

bison61 said...

sounds good -I like that it is Told through the voices of a daughter, son, husband, and mother

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

mamabunny13 said...

May bonus entry - I Like Bookin' with Bingo II
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

bloomerbear said...

Oh the Mother went missing yikes ...

pattifritz2000 at yahoo dot com
thanks bunches

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