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Powell's Books Presents Joseph Han in Conversation With Gene Kwak
Things are looking up for Mr. and Mrs. Cho. Their dream of franchising their Korean plate lunch restaurants across Hawaiʻi seems within reach after a visit from Guy Fieri boosts the profile of Cho’s Delicatessen. Their daughter, Grace, is busy finishing her senior year of college and working for her parents, while her older brother, Jacob, just moved to Seoul to teach English. But when a viral video shows Jacob trying — and failing — to cross the Korean demilitarized zone, nothing can protect the family from suspicion and the restaurant from waning sales. No one knows that Jacob has been possessed by the ghost of his lost grandfather, who feverishly wishes to cross the divide and find the family he left behind in the north. As Jacob is detained by the South Korean government, Mr. and Mrs. Cho fear their son won’t ever be able to return home, and Grace gets more and more stoned as she negotiates her family’s undoing. Struggling with what they don’t know about themselves and one another, the Chos must confront the separations that have endured in their family for decades. Set in the months leading up to the 2018 false missile alert in Hawaiʻi, Joseph Han’s profoundly funny and strikingly beautiful debut novel, Nuclear Family (Counterpoint), is an offering that aches with histories inherited and reunions missed, asking how we heal in the face of what we forget and who we remember. Han will be joined in conversation by Gene Kwak, author of Go Home, Ricky!.

Jun 21, 2022 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Joseph Han
Joseph Han was born in Korea and raised in Hawaiʻi. He is an editor for the West region of Joyland magazine, and a recipient of a Kundiman Fellowship in Fiction. His writing has appeared in Nat.Brut, Catapult, Pleiades Magazine, Platypus Press Shorts, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. He received a PhD in English and Creative Writing at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He is currently living in Honolulu.
Gene Kwak
Gene Kwak has published in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, Lit Hub, Wigleaf, and Electric Literature. Go Home, Ricky! is his debut novel and was a Rumpus October Book Club Selection, was featured in Vanity Fair magazine and Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, and has garnered rave reviews from Publisher's Weekly and Booklist among others. He teaches at the University of Nebraska Omaha.