You’re twelve years old. A month has passed since your Korean Air flight landed in lovely Newark Airport. Your sixteen-year-old sister is miserable. Your mother isn’t exactly happy, either. You just met your father for the first time, and although he’s nice enough, he might be, well – how can you put this delicately – a loser.
You can’t speak English, but that doesn’t stop you from working at East Meets West, your father’s gift shop in a strip mall, where there are not only customers to wait on but neighboring stores to visit. Everything is new. Nothing is the same.
Welcome to the wonderful world of David Kim.
Everything Asian weaves together two compelling stories: a dramedy of the Kim family, reunited for the first time in America, and of Peddlers Town, a depressed, second-class mall where the Kims have their store. Told in alternating chapters, my first novel offers a distinctive slant on the immigrant story.
Set in early-1980’s suburban New Jersey, Everything Asian is narrated by David Kim, who details the family’s first year in the U.S. together with equal amounts of humor and pathos. They encounter competition in the mall; they literally have to fight fire; they attempt to befriend Americans. They celebrate a birthday at a bowling alley and cook a turkey on Thanksgiving. Through it all, the Kims try to understand what it means to be a family in their new country.
While David’s observations take center stage, they alternate with chapters told from another perspective, including the other members of the Kim family and other merchants in the mall. These multiple points of view flesh out the picture of life at Peddlers Town as well as show the Kims through outsider’s eyes, offering a broadened understanding of the family.
Manuscript to Book
How a stack of pages becomes a published novel