Grace Jung’s debut novel “Deli Ideology” explores Korean American identity & history


An apparently epic multi-tasker, Grace Jung (@aechjay), poet and film producer of the upcoming documentary A-Town Boyz (trailer after the jump), also found time earlier this year to publish her debut novel about Korean American identity and history.

Deli Ideology tells the story of a struggling 23-year-old Korean American writer recently returned from a trip to Seoul. Now in New York City, LJ struggles to find space for herself, and her writing, in both the external world and her own internal conflicts. From the book’s press release:

LJ is a 23-year-old educated Korean-American woman who has just returned from a year-long residency in Seoul with a manuscript of translated Korean short fiction that publishers have all turned down. To get by in the city, she juggles two jobs—a copyeditor 5 days a week, and on the weekends, a cashier at a deli in Midtown, where patrons challenge and objectify her based on her looks as an Asian woman. While dealing with pressures to make a decision between her career path and her goal as a writer in an economically depressed state, she makes mental escapes back to her past life in Seoul and the times she spent with Daniel. These memories offer up cues to her self-discovery as an artist, regardless of her background and what lies before her. By simply recognizing herself as a writer, she realizes that alone is a stable basis for her to continue forward; LJ doesn’t feel so oppressed by her future anymore—in fact, she feels liberated.

Deli Ideology is published through ThoughtCatalog and is available for download through Amazon.

In addition to her work as a film producer, Jung is the author of The Moon Hangs Like a Stupid Mistake and Gethsemane, and translated Lee Cheong-Jun’s Worm Story. Jung is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize and is a Fulbright Scholar. A-Town Boyz is an upcoming full-length documentary feature about Asian American men growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, and the lure of gang life.

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