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Nancy Jooyoun Kim Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Last Story of Mina Lee (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
What We Kept to Ourselves (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Nancy Jooyoun Kim is a published author of fiction.

Nancy was born in Los Angeles, the place where she grew up. Kim would later go on to attend UCLA and then the University of Washington, located in Seattle.

She is a best selling author. Her first novel is titled The Last Story of Mina Lee. It was published in 2020. The book was a Reese’s Book Club selection. The novel did well initially and became an instant best seller on the New York Times. It was a highly anticipated novel, getting attention from places like Vulture, Bustle, Lithub, Bookriot, Bookish, and more.

The Los Angeles Times praised the book as a story that ‘cries out’ for it to be told. Author Alexander Chee credited the author herself, saying that when it comes to American fiction, Kim “is a brilliant new voice”. Fellow author Chloe Benjamin also raved about the story, calling it “suspenseful” and “deeply felt”.

Kim has also written other pieces. Her works have been featured in places such as Salon, Guernica, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Selected Shorts from NPR/PRI, The Margins from the Asian American Writers’ Workshops, and more.

Nancy resides in the San Francisco Bay Area today.

The Last Story of Mina Lee is the first novel to come out from Nancy Jooyoun Kim. If you have been searching for a unique story, then be sure to check this novel out. This is the story of a mother and daughter that will have you moved at times. This is a story that is all about the reality of living life as an immigrant in the United States.

Main character Margot Lee starts to get worried one day. It isn’t for a lack of reason: Mina, her mother, has not gotten back to her. In fact, she has not returned any of Margot’s calls.

Margot is a young woman of twenty-six years old and just can’t figure out why her mother is not responding to her. The mystery remains until Margot decides to go to Los Angeles to visit their old apartment in Koreatown. There she finds out that Mina has died, in a way that is perhaps more suspicious than usual.

This is devastating news. Once she finds out, Margot is determined to go through the past and try to make sense of everything. She slowly works her way through her mother’s life, including as a single mom, an orphan of the Korean War, and an immigrant without documents. The more that she finds and the more that she sifts through things, the more that Margot starts to realize that when it comes to her mother, she didn’t know all that much about her.

The story splits as it follows Margot’s quest for answers along with Mina in the past. In her very first year spent in Los Angeles, Mina has to do her best to fund a new life while also trying to remake herself through the American concept of reinvention, with all of its risks and promises. She is employed, but it’s tough for her to make ends meet just by working at the Korean grocery store stocking the shelves.

Mina’s just trying to live her life the best that she can. She has no expectation of romance, or falling in love. But she does, and the love that she finds sets a domino effect of events into motion that will echo with consequences in the coming years. It may even be tied to what really happened the night that she died.

The story of a daughter and a mother that have struggled to understand the other for most of their lives, this is the powerful tale of a family that explores the themes of family, identity, secrets, and belonging. Pick up a copy of this book and read to the end to catch all of the masterfully written story for yourself!

Book Series In Order » Authors » Nancy Jooyoun Kim

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