Unit 2, Activity B: Korean American Literature Today
Goal: to identify and discuss the works of contemporary Korean American authors and explore how Korean American literature changed and evolved in the last few decades.
Titles by Korean American authors have multiplied many-fold in the last two decades alone. The books range from coming-of-age stories to memoirs to mysteries to poetry and so much more. Encourage students to look at titles by Korean American writers from many different angles, to move beyond the Korean American label and recognize writers beyond their ethnic heritage. At the same time, a person’s heritage is an inherent part of his or her personal make-up and writers often write what they know best.
Encourage students to read beyond their expectations: that reading a book about ancient Korea, he or she might find parallels in his or her own family histories; that reading about the challenges facing a Korean American adolescent is not too different than the trials and tribulations any teenager might face, regardless of ethnicity.
Ask students to choose a book from the following list of titles in groups of three or four. After reading the book, allow students to discuss the books in mini book-group settings. Have each group choose a representative to present the most engaging details about the book to the rest of class.
[These titles below are appropriate for grades 6-8 and older.]