The story begins with a mother's confession...sisters permanently separated by a border during the Korean WarThe Waiting
Keum Suk Gendry-Kim was an adult when her mother revealed a family secret: She had been separated from her sister during the Korean War. It's not an uncommon story--the peninsula was split across the 38th parallel, dividing one country into two. As many fled violence in the north, not everyone was able to make it south. Her mother's story inspired Gendry-Kim to begin interviewing her and other Koreans separated by the war; that research fueled a deeply resonant graphic novel.
is the fictional story of Gwija, told by her novelist daughter Jina. When Gwija was 17 years old, after hearing that the Japanese were seizing unmarried girls, her family married her in a hurry to a man she didn't know. Japan fell, Korea gained its independence, and the couple started a family. But peace didn't come. The young family of four fled south. On the road, while breastfeeding and changing her daughter, Gwija was separated from her husband and son.
Then seventy years passed. Seventy years of waiting. Gwija is now an elderly woman and Jina can't stop thinking about the promise she made to help find her brother.
Expertly translated from the Korean by the award-winning translator Janet Hong, The Waiting
is the devastating followup to Gendry-Kim's Grass
, which appeared on best of the year lists from the New York Times, The Guardian, Library Journal
, and more.
About the Author
Keum Suk Gendry-Kim was born in Goheung, Korea, a town famous for its beautiful mountains and sea. She is the author of numerous graphic novels, including 2019's Grass, winner of the Krause Essay Prize, Cartoonist Studio Prize, and the Harvey Award, and nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, YALSA's Alex Awards, and more. Gendry-Kim received the Best Creative Manhwa Award for her short manhwa "Sister Mija," about a comfort woman. She has had exhibitions of her work in Korea and Europe, and her graphic novels and manhwa deal mostly with people who are outcasts or marginalized.