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Review of Concerning My Daughter by Kim Hye-jin (Translated from Korean by Jamie Chang)

Concerning My Daughter is a slice of literary translated fiction, translated from Korean by Jamie Chang, where a micro lens is zoomed into the narrator's life as a marginalised, older single woman within Korean society. When the narrator finds herself in a tad of financial difficulty, she welcomes her daughter, Green, back home, not quite aware that with her comes her activist girlfriend, Lane. What transpires from this is a delve into the mother's bigoted view of her daughter's relationship - refusing to fully accept it. 

As the storyline begins to unfold, the narrator is pushed out of her comfort zone when confronted about Green's job loss and her sexual orientation while touching upon themes of stigma, LGBTQ+ prejudice and Korea's societal values as a whole, which we see haven't become modernised through the generations, but rather have become a brush-under-the-carpet issue. As you fall deeper into Concerning My Daughter, it becomes apparent that both the narrator and daughter are connected by similar struggles, such as the economy and the wider community's view of them, yet separated by their generations.  This is not just a story about two women, but a mother and daughter learning to understand one another, with specks of family drama incorporated. Concerning My Daughter is easy to fall into, although not overly complex in structure, and sheds some impactful light on a multitude of issues.

Review by Danielle.

Concerning My Daughter was published on 14/04/23 by Picador.

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