BookBrowse Reviews Secondhand World by Katherine Min

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Secondhand World

By Katherine Min

Secondhand World
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  • Hardcover: Oct 2006,
    288 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2008,
    288 pages.

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A daring, haunting, inspired debut

Min's thematically rich debut set in an indeterminate point sometime in the late '60s or early '70s explores coming of age, definitions of beauty, and the trials of growing up between two cultures. Isa's story opens with her as a patient in the pediatric burns unit of Albany hospital, New York following a fire that killed her parents and destroyed their house. How she got there comprises the rest of the story, which consists of a swirl of adolescent angst, failures of communication between parents and child, racial prejudice and a rather too graphic affair with another "outsider" - an albino boy by the name of Hero.

Like a teenager's emotions, the plot is a little erratic at times. Nevertheless, Min ably explores and expresses the dilemma faced by many second-generation children, particularly of Asian origin, whose parents came to America in search of the ...

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