One Thousand Chestnut Trees

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9780006548577: One Thousand Chestnut Trees

An epic tale of an enigmatic land - Korea - and one woman's search for her past.Uncle Hong-do arrives in Vermont from Korea to see the sister he has never met, a concert violinist long settled in America. His colourful visit turns his teenage niece Anna's world upside down, disrupting her cosy existence with his eccentric customs, forcing into it a fresh and intriguing tang of Korea. Then, too soon, he returns to Seoul.When Anna leaves for the orient many years later to uncover her family's elusive history, her departure stirs up vivid, shocking memories for her mother, of her gilded childhood in Korea and the story of her noble clan's fall from power.Long ago, her grandfather, Lord Min, commanded his own private armies and his vast estates straddled North and South. In defiance of centuries of barbarous invasions - by the Japanese, Manchus, and finally the Communists - he built a temple high in the mountains, and planted one thousand chestnut trees to shield it from view. Now, generations later, his trees call back his great-granddaughter, and Anna sets out with Uncle Hong-do to find the hidden temple.A powerful mixture of memoir and fiction - the `Wild Swans' of Korea.

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Review:

How best to prepare for a trip to Korea? Forget the kimchi experiments and immerse yourself in a novel that's thick with the people, the history, and the feel of Korea. Mira Stout's protagonist is Anna (based loosely on Stout herself), a young artist who lives in New York and feels lost. Knowing little about her Boston Irish father and her Korean mother, and less still about Korea, she decides to journey to Korea, as Mira Stout herself did, to try to make sense of the random jigsaw pieces of her background--tidbits like the story of her great-grandfather, once the ruler of Kangwon Province, who was stripped of land and title by the invading Japanese and ordered a temple be built atop the highest mountain amidst 1,000 chestnut trees. In the novel, Anna's Korean curiosity begins as a teenager, when Uncle Hong-do arrives from Korea to visit Anna's mother, the sister he never met. Years later, Anna turns to Korea as an answer to her feelings of existential angst, retracing her mother's steps in an effort "to see my family undie." Told in her voice as well as her mother's and grandfather's, what you get is a stirring novel that combines Korea's epic history with a family legacy and a personal exploration. A fine read whether you're going to Korea or lounging in your living room, Stout's story is engrossing and educational.

About the Author:

MIRA STOUT has written two novels and a play. One Thousand Chestnut Trees is her internationally acclaimed first novel. It was nominated for the IMPAC award, was the first runner up for the Shiva Naipaul Award and was chosen for the New York Public Library `Books for the New Year'. Her long-awaited second novel, Moon Trees is soon to be published. Her first play, A Cool Dry Place was developed by The National Theatre Studio and by The Old Vic. Her work has been featured widely across the media spectrum, from The Paris Review to The New York Times and the BBC, among others. She is developing two film projects, and lives in London.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. An epic tale of an enigmatic land - Korea - and one woman s search for her past. Uncle Hong-do arrives in Vermont from Korea to see the sister he has never met, a concert violinist long settled in America. His colourful visit turns his teenage niece Anna s world upside down, disrupting her cosy existence with his eccentric customs, forcing into it a fresh and intriguing tang of Korea. Then, too soon, he returns to Seoul. When Anna leaves for the orient many years later to uncover her family s elusive history, her departure stirs up vivid, shocking memories for her mother, of her gilded childhood in Korea and the story of her noble clan s fall from power. Long ago, her grandfather, Lord Min, commanded his own private armies and his vast estates straddled North and South. In defiance of centuries of barbarous invasions - by the Japanese, Manchus, and finally the Communists - he built a temple high in the mountains, and planted one thousand chestnut trees to shield it from view. Now, generations later, his trees call back his great-granddaughter, and Anna sets out with Uncle Hong-do to find the hidden temple. A powerful mixture of memoir and fiction - the Wild Swans of Korea. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780006548577

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. An epic tale of an enigmatic land - Korea - and one woman s search for her past.Uncle Hong-do arrives in Vermont from Korea to see the sister he has never met, a concert violinist long settled in America. His colourful visit turns his teenage niece Anna s world upside down, disrupting her cosy existence with his eccentric customs, forcing into it a fresh and intriguing tang of Korea. Then, too soon, he returns to Seoul.When Anna leaves for the orient many years later to uncover her family s elusive history, her departure stirs up vivid, shocking memories for her mother, of her gilded childhood in Korea and the story of her noble clan s fall from power.Long ago, her grandfather, Lord Min, commanded his own private armies and his vast estates straddled North and South. In defiance of centuries of barbarous invasions - by the Japanese, Manchus, and finally the Communists - he built a temple high in the mountains, and planted one thousand chestnut trees to shield it from view. Now, generations later, his trees call back his great-granddaughter, and Anna sets out with Uncle Hong-do to find the hidden temple.A powerful mixture of memoir and fiction - the `Wild Swans of Korea. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780006548577

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, One Thousand Chestnut Trees (New edition), Mira Stout, An epic tale of an enigmatic land - Korea - and one woman's search for her past. Uncle Hong-do arrives in Vermont from Korea to see the sister he has never met, a concert violinist long settled in America. His colourful visit turns his teenage niece Anna's world upside down, disrupting her cosy existence with his eccentric customs, forcing into it a fresh and intriguing tang of Korea. Then, too soon, he returns to Seoul. When Anna leaves for the orient many years later to uncover her family's elusive history, her departure stirs up vivid, shocking memories for her mother, of her gilded childhood in Korea and the story of her noble clan's fall from power. Long ago, her grandfather, Lord Min, commanded his own private armies and his vast estates straddled North and South. In defiance of centuries of barbarous invasions - by the Japanese, Manchus, and finally the Communists - he built a temple high in the mountains, and planted one thousand chestnut trees to shield it from view. Now, generations later, his trees call back his great-granddaughter, and Anna sets out with Uncle Hong-do to find the hidden temple. A powerful mixture of memoir and fiction - the 'Wild Swans' of Korea. Bookseller Inventory # B9780006548577

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Book Description Harpercollins Publishers, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. new ed edition. 352 pages. 7.56x4.88x0.79 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __0006548571

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