Cover image for Famous adopted people : a novel / by Alice Stephens.
Title:
Famous adopted people : a novel / by Alice Stephens.
ISBN:
9781944700744
Publication Information:
Los Angeles : Unnamed Press : distributed by Publishers Group West, [2018]

©2018
Physical Description:
331 pages ; 22 cm
Abstract:
"Lisa Pearl is an American teaching English in Japan and the situation there--thanks mostly to her spontaneous, hard-partying ways--has become problematic. Now she's in Seoul, South Korea, with her childhood best-friend Mindy. The young women share a special bond: they are both Korean-born adoptees into white American families. Mindy is in Seoul to track down her birth mom, and wants Lisa to do the same. Trouble is, Lisa isn't convinced she needs to know about her past, much less meet her biological mother. She'd much rather spend time with Harrison, an almost supernaturally handsome local who works for the MotherFinder's agency. When Lisa wakes up inside a palatial mountain compound, the captive of a glamorous, surgically-enhanced blonde named Honey, she soon realizes she is going to learn about her past whether she likes it or not. What happens next only could in one place: North Korea."-- from publisher.
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Summary

Summary

"Stephens' darkly comic, sharply irreverent, undeniably wise 'Great Adoption Novel' is an unexpectedly timely, not-to-be-missed, epic wild ride." --Booklist, *Starred Review*
Lisa Pearl is an American teaching English in Japan and the situation there--thanks mostly to her spontaneous, hard-partying ways--has become problematic. Now she's in Seoul, South Korea, with her childhood best-friend Mindy. The young women share a special bond: they are both Korean-born adoptees into white American families. Mindy is in Seoul to track down her birth mom, and wants Lisa to do the same. Trouble is, Lisa isn't convinced she needs to know about her past, much less meet her biological mother.
She'd much rather spend time with Harrison, an almost supernaturally handsome local who works for the MotherFinder's agency. When Lisa wakes up inside a palatial mountain compound, the captive of a glamorous, surgically-enhanced blonde named Honey, she soon realizes she is going to learn about her past whether she likes it or not. What happens next only could in one place: North Korea.


Author Notes

Alice Stephens was born in Korea and came to the United States as one of the first generation of interracial adoptees. Her work has appeared in Urban Mozaik, Flung, Banana Writers, and the Washington Independent Review of Books, which publishes her monthly column, Alice in Wordland. She has lived and studied on four continents, and the one constant in her life, besides writing, has been travel. Famous Adopted People is her debut novel. She currently lives in Washington, D.C.


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In her tragicomic debut, sardonic and sincere in turn, Stephens follows an adoptee's eventful search for her birth mother. Urged by her best friend (and fellow adoptee) Mindy, 27-year-old Lisa travels to South Korea to meet with an agency called MotherFinders. She's initially told that her birth mother is completely untraceable. The half-white, half-Korean Lisa becomes easily entranced and seduced by the handsome Harrison, whom she initially believes is a handler for MotherFinders but is, in fact, working for a mysterious white woman named Honey. Harrison's promised weekend of debauchery ends with Lisa awakening in Honey's underground compound-north of the DMZ. Lisa soon learns that her reasons for landing there center around a very powerful family secret. Addicted to plastic surgery, surrounded by sycophants and North Korean supporters, and seemingly devoid of genuine compassion, Honey tries to remake Lisa in her own image. But Lisa-whose self-understanding has always been slippery at best-must learn how to reclaim agency in her own life. Peppered with moments of political satire and heartfelt introspection, Stephens's novel also offers a fun-house depiction of the absurdities and horrors of the surveillance state. This is an excellent debut. (Oct.) c Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.