Rachel's Reviews > To Kill a Tiger: A Memoir of Korea

To Kill a Tiger by Jid Lee
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's review
Apr 19, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: depressing, korea, history, memoir, nonfiction
Read in December, 2013

This is the kind of book that makes you grateful for your own childhood. The author says that as she grew older, she realized how liberal her family really was, in comparison to those of her peers. If that is true, it makes you realize how traumatic growing up female in a Confucian society really must've been.

I can't imagine what it's like to grow up and be constantly told that your brothers are better than you simply because they're boys. I can't imagine getting poorer food, less-warm clothes, or being expected to drop my homework to cook my brothers snacks.

The author's constant war with herself--does she play the dutiful daughter or fight--felt very real and terrible, and made me hope that she's at peace with herself and her family now, for her own sake. The only reason I gave the book 4 stars instead of 5 is that it never explains how she gets where she is now. It ends with her heading to America for college, with family issues still unresolved. I really wanted to know what happened after that.

I also loved getting the author's perspective on the Korean War, on North Korea, and on America. I feel like we are constantly told that we are awesome and right, and that certain areas of the world (like South Korea) think we're awesome and right. It's fascinating (and important) to get to hear from someone who disagrees vehemently, and hear her reasons. I think we Americans need to hear these dissenting opinions more often.

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