The Waiting

Event Date: Tuesday, November 2, 2021 20:00(EST)
Wednesday, November 3, 2021 09:00(KST)

The link to join the YouTube Live will be emailed to you 2 hours before the event

Time Part Details


Part I

About the author : Keum Suk Gendry-Kim

Part II

Keum Suk Gendry-Kim and The Waiting

About Keum Suk Gendry-Kim

Keum Suk Gendry-Kim

Keum Suk Gendry-Kim (b. 1971) is a graphic novelist. She graduated from Sejong University and L’Ecole Superieure des Arts Decoratifs de Strasbourg. Her unique ink drawings depict important historical events as well as biographical narratives. She has created her own artistic world, to the extent that her work is respected as a separate genre in its own right. Gendry-Kim is fascinated by the way graphic novels combine words and images to make an instant impact, and believes that such a medium remains easily accessible even when engaged with serious subjects, and enriches the power of reason and life. Her works have been translated into thirteen languages including French, Portuguese, English, Japanese and Arabic, and garnered widespread readership across Europe, South America, North America and Asia. Her publications include Dog, The Song of My Father, Kogaeyi, Jiseul, A Day with My Grandpa, Grass, Jun, The Naked Tree, The Waiting, and The Stranger. She has received a number of prestigious accolades including the 14th Best Creative Manhwa Award, the Krause Essay Prize, the Big Other Book Award for Best Graphic Novel, the VLA Graphic Novel Diversity Award, and the Harvey Award for Best International Book.

About The Waiting


The Waiting

The Korean War (1950~1953) left huge scars across the Korean Peninsula. Throughout the brutal war, a great number of people lost their lives or became separated from their families. Inspired by her own mother’s story of losing her sister during the war, Keum Suk Gendry-Kim conducted interviews with those traumatized by the wartime separation of families. In The Waiting, the author addresses issues related to Japanese colonial rule, liberation, and the Korean War, and presents an arresting portrayal of families forced apart by the division of the country seventy years ago. It is the story of Gwijatold by her novelist daughter Jina, who was born during the Korean War. Before, Gwija led a happy life with her husband and two children in Hamgyong Province. However, in the wake of the Korean War, the young family fled south, and Gwija was separated from her husband and son while breastfeeding and changing her baby daughter. Seventy years on, Gwija still longs to be reunited with her husband and son. The Waiting is a deeply resonant graphic novel about families separated by the Korean War, as well as countless others who miss their long-lost families and homelands.

About Grass



A ten-year-old girl named Okseon is eager to go to school. However, she is sent to work in a noodle shop and a bar before being taken to China and forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese military. She remains in China after the war, and eventually returns to her homeland for the first time in fifty-five years. Even as an old woman, Okseon suffers from the trauma of her history. Based on the testimony of the victim of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery, Lee Okseon, Grass depicts the life of a “comfort woman.” Lee stoutly refuses to be a mere victim of human rights violations. Rather, driven by her strong willpower and sense of purpose, she actively engages in peace and human rights activism. Keum Suk Gendry-Kim said, “Every creator comes across a story that feels so profound that they must unravel it at all costs. For me, that was the story of Japanese wartime sexual slavery.” Lee’s story is no doubt a living history that we must learn from and remember. Grass has been translated into thirteen languages, and received numerous international awards including the Harvey Award for Best International Bookalso known as the “Oscars” of the comic book industry.

Discussant Alexander Chee

Alexander Chee

Alexander Chee is the bestselling author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night, and the essay collection How To Write An Autobiographical Novel, all from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. A contributing editor at The New Republic, and an editor at large at VQR, his essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, T Magazine, The Sewaneee Review, and the 2016 and 2019 Best American Essays. He is a 2021 United States Artists Fellow, a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in Nonfiction, and the recipient of a Whiting Award, a NEA Fellowship, an MCCA Fellowship, the Randy Shilts Prize in gay nonfiction, the Paul Engle Prize, the Lambda Editor’s Choice Prize, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Leidig House, Civitella Ranieri and Amtrak. He teaches as an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College.

Interview with Keum Suk Gendry-Kim