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Retro Week: Books

Retro week continues here at Land of Gazillion Adoptees with a list of some of my favorite adoption related books.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, HERE: A Visual History of Adopted Koreans in Minnesota is the tops for me, but the following are right up there as must read pieces of literature.

P.S. The “Let’s Give Away $10,000” fundraising effort is now at 27 pledges/$1,300 raised.  Please keep them coming!

P.P.S.S. The people have spoken. Rather than getting 25 pledges, the person who has the largest number of pledges by Monday, September 12th will win the Vikings tickets/VIP field passes for the team’s home season opener.


A Single Square Picture: A Korean Adoptee’s Search for Her Roots

My first “aha!” book.  I read Katy Robinson’s book after my reunion with my family in Korea.  It helped me to realize that I wasn’t alone, and that there were others with whom I shared similar experiences.

“Luminously written, sensitively nuanced memoir by Idaho-based journalist Robinson about the rediscovery of her Korean family.” (source


Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption 

Many within the adoption community know Jane Jeong Trenka as the writer of the Language of Blood: A Memoir.  It goes without saying that the book is amazing.  However, I personally believe that Outsiders Within, which Jane co-edited with Julia Chinyers Oparah and Sun Yung Shin, will have the lasting impact.

“This provocative, disturbing collection reveals the sociological links between African-American children placed in foster care and El Salvador’s “niño desaparecidos (disappeared children), between Christian missions and “the adoption industry,” between a transracial adoptee born in Vietnam and raised in Australia and one born in Korea and raised in the U.S.” (source)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Adoption themes play a major role in the Harry Potter series, and the issues of grief and loss are all over the last installment.  I fondly recall reading Deathly Hallows on a business trip to Denver, CO.  Folks who know me and my story well would understand why I, a grown man riding an airplane, lost it during the moment in the book in which Harry discovers his mother and father’s grave.

“The world of Harry Potter is a place where the mundane and the marvelous, the ordinary and the surreal coexist. It’s a place where cars can fly and owls can deliver the mail, a place where paintings talk and a mirror reflects people’s innermost desires. It’s also a place utterly recognizable to readers, a place where death and the catastrophes of daily life are inevitable, and people’s lives are defined by love and loss and hope — the same way they are in our own mortal world.” (source)

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