P&P Live! An Evening with Frances Park and Ginger Park

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That Lonely Spell began seven years ago with a thought: For most of Frances Park’s life, she’d been missing her late father badly; one day she thought to try her hand at penning a personal essay about him. The piece turned out sweet yet lawless, longer than intended, and titled “Mister, Your Shoelace is Untied”. Another work followed, then another. At heart, they were love letters to her dad and his life, both glorious and cheated. Others, living and dead, crept into these pages: a stoic maid in post-war Seoul who finally warmed up to her the summer she was seven; a woman who lured her into her basement apartment with the promise of colorful gumballs; a golden boy she never got over; Jefferson, the soulful doodle of her heart; friends cherished, now perished; and of course her mother, alive during most of the writing here, yes, alive and cheering Frances on with the completion of each story, hot off the press.

In Ginger Park’s The Hundred Choices Department Store, it’s 1944, and the Pangs own a thriving business in northern Korea that caters to wealthy Japanese. Thirteen-year-old Miyook Pang has spent two years serving in the war effort on behalf of Japan during the Japanese Occupation of her country. Miyook endures exhaustion and illness, but only when she is sent to work in the dreaded dye factory—a place deemed Hell’s Chamber by her older brother, Hoon—does she experience spiritual death. It is here where she meets Song-ho, an orphaned boy, and unbeknownst to her, the brief encounter will prove fateful. When Japan loses the war, Russian soldiers capture her beloved hometown and The Hundred Choices Department Store, leaving the city in ruin. With the Korean War looming, Miyook must take a dangerous flight south, across the 38th parallel now guarded by the newly formed North Korean Army. Here, once again, she encounters Song-ho, an event that will change the course of her life.

Frances Park is the author (or co-author) of eleven books including the novel When My Sister Was Cleopatra Moon and Good-bye, 382 Shin Dang Dong. Her shorter works have appeared in many dozens of publications such as O: The Oprah Magazine, Spirituality & Health, The Columbia Journal, Arts & Letters, The Chicago Quarterly, USA Today, The Belleview Literary Review, and the inaugural edition of Coolest American Short Stories 2022. Frances’ essay “You Two Are So Beautiful Together” (Massachusetts Review) earned a spot on The Best Essays 2017 Notable List. With her sister Ginger, she's been having a blast behind the counter at Chocolate Chocolate on Connecticut Avenue since 1984.

Ginger Park's heritage-inspired picture books have received many awards including the 1999 International Reading Association Children's Book Award, the 2002 Joan G. Sugarman Award, Parents Choice Awards, Rutgers University Economic Award, Bank Street College Awards, Children's Literature Book Awards, Capitol Choice Awards, Notable Books for a Global Society Awards, and the Paterson Prize. Her forthcoming picture book Grandpa's Scroll will be published by Albert Whitman & Co. on March 1, 2023. When she's not writing, you can usually find her down the street at her chocolate shop Chocolate Chocolate on Connecticut Avenue ‘breaking chocolate’ with her beloved customers.

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The Hundred Choices Department Store Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781646032129
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Fitzroy Books - March 25th, 2022

That Lonely Spell Cover Image
$17.50
ISBN: 9781942762843
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Heliotrope Books LLC - March 25th, 2022

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