KoreAm Column: Love Love and Porn

credit: Jennifer Heuer

My August/September column for KoreAm Journal is now available online.  This one has to do with my second novel, Love Love, and how/why I ended up writing about pornography.

From time to time, at a slightly greater frequency than a visit by Halley’s Comet, people ask me what my second novel, Love Love, is about. I usually tell them it stars Korean American siblings in pre-midlife crisis mode. I also mention tennis, since the brother is an ex-professional tennis player. Then I say, hey, it’s about art, too, because the sister is a struggling painter.

At this point the person nods and waits because I’m not done.

“I also wrote about pornography,” I say. Although I mean to mention this without any added inflection or emotion, I usually find that my voice betrays me, so I end up with, “I also wrote about pornography?” Almost as if I’m asking for permission.


The graphic you see above was one of the alternate covers that the brilliant artist, Jennifer Heuer, came up with.  Kinda goes well with the post…

Love Love in San Francisco Magazine (9/2015)

A hearty thank you to San Francisco Magazine for giving some love to Love Love:sanfranmag_ll

The full text:

Get lost in an oversexed San Francisco

Sung J. Woo, author of the highly lauded Everything Asian, has a new novel on a slightly different subject.  Love Love (Soft Skull Press) finds 40-year-old tennis coach Kevin Lee grappling with the discovery that not only was he adopted, but his biological parents were porn stars in ’70s San Francisco — a lot to take in for a man in the midst of a midlife crisis.

The portion of the bald head you see below my little snippet belongs to none other than Salman Rushdie!  If that wasn’t amazing enough, I’m also sharing space with Jonathan Franzen’s Purity and Billy Joel.  The entire page appears below.


Book Riot’s All the Books! Podcast

imgresThe lovely folks at Book Riot’s All the Books! podcast mentioned Love Love in their weekly podcast.  It’s about 29 minutes in and lasts about 20 seconds! :) They also mention a whole bunch of other wonderful novels and nonfiction books, so give it a listen via iTunes or directly on their site.

Second Review for Love Love, Plus POPSUGAR Sweetness

So the second review is now available online, and it’s the best of the bunch.  So good that the lovely people at Booklist gave me a starred review.


Woo’s follow-up to his debut, Everything Asian (2009), follows two adult siblings forced to confront their dissatisfaction with their lives. Judy Lee is a 38-year-old temp who has more or less given up on her dreams of being an artist, while her older brother, Kevin, has been teaching tennis at a country club since his professional tennis career came to an end. Their father is dying of renal failure, but Kevin’s plans to donate a kidney to him come to a screeching halt when he learns he is not only not a match for his father, he is not even his biological son. This discovery turns Kevin’s world upside down, sending him on a quest for his birth parents and forcing him to confront his grief over the breakup of his marriage. Judy, who blames her father for the death of her mother, won’t even consider donating a kidney. Woo’s observations about aging, loss, and disillusionment are so smart, so sharp and astute that they’ll haunt readers long after the final page has been turned. That he manages to find the beauty, humor, and even optimism in the struggle makes this glorious, at times painful, but always rewarding novel a stunning achievement. — Kristine Huntley

This title has been recommended for young adult readers:

YA/Mature Readers: Though the Lee siblings are older, their plights–one wrestling with a new love, the other searching for his birth parents–will intrigue sophisticated readers. —Kristine Huntley


And then to top it off (with sugar), Brenda Janowitz at POPUSGAR picked Love Love as one of the best 2015 Fall Books!  Life is great.  Thank you, universe.