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Black Flower

by Young-Ha Kim

Interwoven stories of the trials and hardships faced by an eclectic mix of Koreans who had hoped to make a better life for themselves in Mexico in the early twentieth century. Once I’d got used to change of focus from character to character I really enjoyed this book and found the interspersed sections of historical detail fascinating.

Extract

The boy took a spot in the cabin in the bottom of the boat; there was room for him in a corner. He curled up as much as he could and covered himself with the clothes he had brought. Then he looked round the cabin, gloomy as a cave. Those who boarded as families gathered in circles. Men with buxom daughters were on edge, the whites of their eyes bloodshot. There seemed to be five times as many men as women. Whenever the women went anywhere, the eyes of the men followed them secretly and persistently. Four years. That's how long they would stay together, these people.
Translated by Charles La Shute

Parallels

The Potato Factory by Bryce Courtney
Please Look After Mother by Kyung-sook Shin
 

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