Review of Eugenia Kim’s “The Calligrapher’s Daughter” in the Christian Science Monitor

The Calligrapher's DaughterYvonne Zip reviews Eugenia Kim’s The Calligrapher’s Daughter in the Christian Science Monitor.

Zip notes,

“Kim builds a patient spell, carefully orienting American readers who probably know little of this chapter of history. . . Fans of Lisa See’s or Amy Tan’s novels should eagerly embrace [the main character] Najin, and The Calligrapher’s Daughter bids fair to become a staple of book clubs. While the story is Najin’s, its true subject is Korea’s occupation by Japan.”

3 replies »

  1. Hi, I’ve recently begun reading The Calligrapher’s Daughter, and was really enjoying it until I came across the part where Najiin and Kira are getting water and uhm… Meet a Japanese soldier. I’m a teenager, and I was wondering if you could tell me if there are any more parts in the book that I should skip over?? I’d really like to finish the book, but minus the “adult” content. I’d aprreciate it!


    • Hi Laura,
      Thanks for the question! I understand your concern. I haven’t read the book yet, so I went straight to the source: the author, Eugenia Kim! Here’s what she said:

      “Thanks so much for your note, and for your support of the book. I’ve known 14-year-olds to read it in entirety with their mother’s approval, but Laura doesn’t say how old she is. In any case, there is a sex scene on pages 252-253. Another on 339-340. . . I’m sure there are sections I have missed (I wouldn’t have remembered about the soldier, for example), and there is scattered violence throughout (it is wartime), though none of it is gratuitous or over the top; but most of all, who am I to judge what’s appropriate for someone else’s daughter? I hope this helps.”


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