Growing up in a household where his mother is a housewife and his father is working all day as a psychologist, Chang-Rae Lee started watching his mother cook traditional Korean food as a young boy. He was interested in what she was doing in the kitchen. He would be right by her side as she was cooking meals for the family. Sometimes, he would even sneak away from his friends during playtime just to peek into the kitchen and watch. He knew where the real fun was going on.
As Chang-Rae got to be a little bit older, he noticed how he was different from his parents. He was not Korean, he was Korean-American, and it seemed he understood that more than his parents did. There were times when Chang-Rae felt as if he had to help his mother through her struggles with American society.
There were a few times when Chang-Rae looked up to his mother as an idol besides being a fan of her culinary skill. Chang-Rae’s bedroom was filled with famous basketball player’s photos. He soon learned that his mother was a fan of the sport herself. After, finding out that his mother was a basketball champion in her school, he views her skills to be more heroic than annoying.
When Chang-Rae Lee is sent away to Exeter Boarding School as a child, his parents come to visit later. It is somewhat of an awkward time for both the parents and Chang-Rae. They have grown apart and have not spoken much during the years he has been away. Of course, his mother brought an abundance of traditional Korean foods to satisfy her son who she misses terribly.
Years later, Chang-Rae’s mother gets sick with...