New Authors     New Books     Coming Soon     Most Popular     Top Authors    
     New Books     Coming Soon     
book cover of Memories of My Ghost Brother

Memories of My Ghost Brother

(1996)
A novel by

 
 
"My mother lies unconscious in the warm side of the room, dreaming of springtime in the old city of Seoul. She is walking along a palace wall, on an avenue white with fallen cherry blossoms. . . . Hearing a strange noise, she stops to listen. A giant serpent, thick as a pine tree, dangles its head from atop the palace gate and whispers to her in human speech, "I have something very important to tell you." My mother takes a cautious step forward. But before the serpent can speak again, she returns to consciousness and, enduring the last contractions of her day-long labor, she gives birth to me."

.

So begins this haunting and lyrical autobiographical novel that explores the coming of age of an Amerasian boy in Korea, torn between his mother's world - haunted by the specter of Japanese occupations and ruled by the imperatives of the spirit kingdom - and his father's transplanted America, the local U.S. army base where G.I.s are preparing for combat in another Asian nation, Vietnam. Young Insu grows up in the chaotic streets of Pupyong, among black marketeers, prostitutes, and castoff biracial children. Death comes daily to Pupyong - through cholera, murder, fatal accidents that are either sad or suspicious - and touches Insu's life directly when his beloved aunt commits suicide after being cruelly spurned by her G.I. lover, and his friend James is found drowned in a drain and neighborhood gossips accuse James's mother, whose pursuit of a new blond husband would have been hampered by a half-black son. Although life on the streets is brutal, and the American school Insu attends no better, his Korean family provides him with love and the nourishment of stories and laughter. Like his mother, Insu is attuned to the world of spirits, and he is haunted by the ghost figure of a young boy, a secret half-brother. When Insu learns the true identity of his ghost brother, he also makes a painful discovery about the corrosive prejudices that have torn his family apart.
As an exploration of the Amerasian experience and the troubled legacy of the U.S. military presence in a country whose war was never officially over, Memories of My Ghost Brother is a milestone in contemporary literature. With its ghost stories, folktales, mother-father conflicts, strange joys, and violent tragedies, Memories of My Ghost Brother recalls such classics as Jerzy Kosinski's The Painted Bird and Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior. Evocative and compelling, this magnificent first novel by a gifted writer captures the mystery, beauty, and pain of a young boy's world.

    

Similar books by other authors


Used availability for Heinz Insu Fenkl's Memories of My Ghost Brother

Hardback Editions

November 1996 : USA Hardback
thumb

Title: Memories of My Ghost Brother: A Novel
Author(s): Heinz Insu Fenkl
ISBN: 0-525-94175-4 / 978-0-525-94175-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


Paperback Editions

2005 : USA Paperback
thumb

Title: Memories of My Ghost Brother
Author(s): HEINZ INSU FENKL
ISBN: 0-9768086-0-9 / 978-0-9768086-0-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: BO-LEAF
Availability: Amazon   


August 1998 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: Memories of My Ghost Brother
Author(s): Heinz Insu Fenkl
ISBN: 1-86230-014-3 / 978-1-86230-014-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Anchor Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 1997 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: Memories of My Ghost Brother
Author(s): Heinz Insu Fenkl
ISBN: 1-86230-001-1 / 978-1-86230-001-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Anchor Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

March 2018 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Memories of My Ghost Brother: a novel
Author(s): Heinz Insu Fenkl
Publisher: Bo-Leaf Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA