The Kimchi Effect by Paula Young Lee

By Dyske    November 22nd, 2013

“What’s your midde initial?” adults would demand as they filled out my forms.

“Y,” I would mutter, staring sullenly at the counter I was too short to see over.

A blank stare, and then a scolding: “You are an impertinent child. Where is your mother?”

As a middle child of the 60s growing up in rural Maine, a state that is still 96% full of 100% Caucasians, I would get this look a lot from librarians that couldn’t figure out what to do with a five-year-old with a reading list. These books were written in the language of Sunday school, because my Korean immigrant father was the pastor of a Methodist church with an all-white congregation, and it was important to blend in by speaking excellent English.

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