For Jane, a half-Korean, half-American orphan, Flushing, Queens, is the place she’s been trying to escape from her whole life. Sardonic yet vulnerable, she toils, unappreciated, in her strict uncle’s grocery store and politely observes the traditional principle of nunchi (a combination of good manners, hierarchy, and obligation). Desperate for a new life, she’s thrilled to become the au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter. Inducted into the world of organic food co-ops, and nineteenth-century novels, Jane is the recipient of Beth Mazer’s feminist lectures and Ed Farley’s very male attention. But when a family death interrupts Jane and Ed’s blossoming affair, she flies off to Seoul, leaving New York far behind.
Reconnecting with family, and struggling to learn the ways of modern-day Korea, Jane begins to wonder if Ed Farley is really the man for her. Jane returns to Queens, where she must find a balance between two cultures and accept who she really is.
Perfect for readers of Ruth Ozeki, Chang-rae Lee, Allegra Goodman, and—of course—Charlotte Brontë, RE JANE is a bright, comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living not just out of obligation to others, but for one’s self.
Thanks to Andrea, The Book Nook has a print copy of RE:JANE to give away to one (1) lucky commenter. Sorry, U.S. only. What intrigues you the most about RE:JANE?
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR RE JANE:
“Park’s debut is a cheeky, clever homage to Jane Eyre, interwoven with touching meditations on Korean-American identity…. Park’s clever one-liners make the story memorable, and her riffs on cultural identity will resonate with any reader who’s felt out of place.”
“A sweet and savvy bildungsroman…. Park is a fine writer with an eye for the effects of class and ethnic identity, a sense of humor, and a compassionate view of human weakness who nevertheless doesn't make the rookie error of letting her characters off easy. An enjoyable book offering a portrait of a young woman struggling to come into her own in the increasingly complicated opening years of a new century.”
“Re Jane swerves away from the original in really interesting ways, becoming an examination of family, prejudice, immigrant culture, youth, and individualism. This is both a must-read for Jane Eyre-ites and a wholly new, original thing that stands firmly on its own story-telling legs.”
“Re Jane is a rich and engaging novel. Besides being a love story, it is infused with contemporary subject matter, such as longing versus belonging, the immigrant experience. Patricia Park writes with earnestness, honesty, and exuberance, which make the novel thoroughly enjoyable.”
—Ha Jin, National Book Award-winning author of War Trash and Waiting
"The Korean Americans of Queens find a daring new voice in Patricia Park’s debut novel, as she takes a story we know and makes it into a story we’ve not seen before—a novel for the country we are still becoming.”
—Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night
“Some nerve, to take Jane Eyre, reconfigure it, make the heroine an orphaned half-white Korean girl, all the while mixing new-fangled Jello shots, hipsterisms, and spicy fish stew with old-fashioned romance. Some nerve to bring it off with such energy, color, and emotional insight! Reader, you'll love it.”
—Daniel Menaker, author of My Mistake
“Patricia Park's Re Jane is packed with authenticity, poignancy and humor. I was enchanted by this modern retelling of Jane Eyre as the tough yet vulnerable narrator captured my heart.”
—Jean Kwok, bestselling author of Girl In Translation and Mambo in Chinatown
“Even with its appealing echoes of Jane Eyre, Patricia Park’s first novel is a true original—a smart, fresh, story of cultural complications that hasn’t yet been told in quite this way. The funny and shrewdly observant narrator won me over on the very first page.”
—Stephen McCauley, author of The Object of My Affection
“This is a richly imagined and engrossing novel, and also an important work that marks what it means to be American now. Park’s writing is remarkable for its tenderness and honesty.”
—Sabina Murray, author of Tales from the New World and The Caprices
“Re Jane is a contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre that’s also entirely its own exquisite story. Jane is a hilarious, sometimes muddled, and utterly beguiling heroine. Park’s surprising twists and razor-sharp writing and deep heart make the pages fly by. This story is all about what it’s like being young and learning from mistakes and figuring out who you are without fear.”
—Margaret Dilloway, author of How to Be an American Housewife
“Patricia Park displays her keen observation skills, her penchant for finding le mot juste (be it in English or Korean) and her natural gift for story telling in her witty debut novel, Re Jane. Not only does this charming novel entertain, especially with spot-on descriptions of people, but it also opens a window into the Korean culture. This may be Patricia Park’s first novel, but it won’t be her last.”
—Firoozeh Dumas, bestselling author of Funny in Farsi
“What a pleasure, this journey from Queens to Brooklyn to Korea and back with such a smart, witty, observant insider. And have I mentioned the writing? So many times I said to myself as I read a particularly delicious sentence or description in Re Jane, why can't I do that?
—Elinor Lipman, author of The View from Penthouse B
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
PATRICIA PARK was born and raised in Queens and is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science. She earned her BA in English from Swarthmore College and an MFA in Fiction from Boston University. A former Fulbright Scholar and Emerging Writer Fellow at the Center for Fiction, she has published essays in The New York Times, Slice, and the Guardian. She has taught writing at Boston University, CUNY Queens College, and Ewha Womans University in Seoul. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.