Times Private Lives Column in Newsis, the Largest Private News Agency in Korea


So here’s something unexpectedly delightful — Newsis, the largest private news agency in Korea (similar to the Associated Press), picked up my Private Lives column and wrote a story about it.  They sort of retold the bulk of the story in Korean, so I can now hand this over to my mother today.  Happy Easter indeed!  I’m grateful to Newsis and the writer of the article, 노창현.  It was also included in Newsroh, a Korean online newspaper!

Modern Love @ The New York Times – Overfed on a Mother’s Affection


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


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.

“I can’t.”

“It’s just one more.” There was an edge to her voice. “Why are you being difficult?”

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Photos and Story from LitCrawl/Dirty Laundry (9/10)

LitCrawl 2011/Dirty Laundry!  The Launderette on Second Avenue was packed, as you can see from the photo below:

credit: nytimes/Jake Sugarman

We got some love from the local arm of the New York Times, too.  I read a flash piece titled Sacrifices, which appears below.  But before that, some more pictures.  Big thanks to my wife for taking these great photos and also editing my story.

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Complaints About the Complaint Box

After a Complaint Box essay, the good folks at the Times follow up with various reader reactions.  As of now, there are 151 comments from the readers on the web, and I think these two might be my favorite:

1. Better loud and occupied than silent and empty or worse yet, visited only by cranky Sung J Woo.

2. I’m dismayed see you lead off with yet another hackneyed stereotype of librarians: “…and the occasional shush — delivered with an index finger crossing the lips of a bespectacled, cardigan-wearing librarian.” Get with it, Mr. Woo. I’m a librarian, and I shop at Express.

Way to put me and my best Andy Rooney impression in my place!  I love it.  As a writer, it’s a rare gift to see so many direct opinions from readers.  Thank you to all who have contributed — keep them coming!