Since my Modern Love essay came out on Thursday, a few people have asked about the recently-completed second book. Here’s the pitch.
by Sung J. Woo
A novel about art and athletics, family and adoption, remembrance and forgiveness – and Judy and Kevin, sister and brother.
Judy Lee’s life has not turned out the way she’d imagined. She’s divorced, she’s broke, and her dreams of being a painter have fallen by the wayside. Her co-worker Roger might be a member of the Yakuza, but he’s also the only person who’s asked her on a date in the last year.
Meanwhile, Kevin, an ex-professional tennis player, has decided to donate a kidney to their ailing father — until it turns out that he’s not a genetic match. His father reluctantly tells him he was adopted, but the only information Kevin has is a nude picture of his birth mother.
Told in alternating chapters from the points of view of Judy and Kevin, Love Love is a story about two people figuring out how to live, how to love, how to be their best selves amid the chaos of their lives.
Happy Mother’s Day weekend! To begin the celebration early, check out the essay I wrote for the Modern Love section of The New York Times. It’s online now; the print version will appear in the Sunday paper.
Overfed on a Mother’s Affection
By SUNG J. WOO
My mother held out a Tupperware container of chicken thighs and drumsticks, roasted with kimchi, bell peppers, onions and scallions. It’s a great dish, one of my favorites.
“No,” I said.
My mother and I don’t fight often nowadays, because I’m 41 and she’s 72 and we lead separate lives. I see her once every two weeks. She makes me lunch, we shop at Costco, she makes me dinner, then she sends me off with grocery bags full of her cooking.
We’ve been on this schedule for the last eight years, since my father passed away. But on this evening, near the end of my visit to her senior apartment, I could tell we were going to argue.
“Just take it,” she said.
“It’s just one more.” There was an edge to her voice. “Why are you being difficult?”
Only “I” in Don.
Goodbye Jag, hello GM.
Peggy’s two bosses.
The podcast and the essay are already out there, but the actual broadcast of my essay is happening today, sometime between 6 and 9 am and then again between 4pm and 8pm on WNYC, via 93.9 FM and AM 820. So if you the type to listen to the radio live, tune in!