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The Red Queen: A Transcultural Tragicomedy by Margaret Drabble [in AsianWeek]

Red QueenIncredibly enough, a British novelist has written my own family’s story – on both the Hong and Yi sides. Novel though it may be, here’s proof that my ancestors were beyond crazy. The first half is a condensed version of the royal Lady Hong’s 18th-century memoirs (they exist in real life, available even in English), a woman who was married at age 8 to the tragic and dramatic Crown Prince Sado (heir to Korea’s Yi dynasty); the second half fast forwards to a contemporary British professor who goes to Korea and has a three-day affair with a famous academic. The two parts don’t really make sense together — Drabble herself appears in the last few pages trying to explain – and the whole thing is a clumsy mess, but as with a crash-and-burn roadside accident, I just couldn’t turn away.

Review: “New and Notable Books,” AsianWeek, October 28, 2004

Readers: Adult

Published: 2004 (United States)


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