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That Lonely Spell: Stories of Family, Friends & Love

That Lonely Spell: Stories of Family, Friends & Love


That Lonely Spell began seven years ago with a thought: For most of Frances’ life, she’d been missing her late father badly; one day she thought to try her hand at penning a personal essay about him. The piece turned out sweet yet lawless, longer than intended, and titled Mister, Your Shoelace is Untied. Another work followed, then another. At heart, they were love letters to her dad and his life, both glorious and cheated. Others, living and dead, crept into these pages: a stoic maid in post-war Seoul who finally warmed up to her the summer she was seven; a woman who lured her into her basement apartment with the promise of colorful gumballs; a golden boy she never got over; Jefferson, the soulful doodle of her heart; friends cherished, now perished; and of course her mother, alive during most of the writing here, yes, alive and cheering Frances on with the completion of each story, hot off the press.


All twenty-six stories in this memoir have been published in both commercial and literary magazines including in O: The Oprah Magazine, Spirituality & Health Magazine, The Chicago Quarterly, Gargoyle, Arts & Letters, and The Columbia Journal, to name a few. One work, her bittersweet remembrance of smuggling money out of South Korea in 1980 with her mother – “You Two Are So Beautiful Together” – earned a Notable in The Best American Essays 2017 (The Massachusetts Review).


"A fresh take on the Korean American memoir by a writer from a generation whose voice has seldom been heard... Heart and humanity shine through in essays that speak to a fierce love of family and longing for home." Kirkus Reviews

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