University of Wisconsin-River Falls

News Source

Oct. 3, 2003


Korean Adoptee Reflects on her Popular Writings

The Library Breezeway will present Jane Jeong Trenka, reading from her book, "The Language of Blood," on Friday, Oct. 10, at 3:30 p.m., on the second floor of the Chalmer Davee Library.

Her book, describing her journey from the conservative Christian roots of Minnesota to her corrupt homeland of Korea, will surely touch the hearts and emotions of all whom attend.

Her book, described as, "Original and beautifully written reflections," by Publisher's Weekly, is a brave exploration of her identity as a Korean adoptee and pensive young women trying to negotiate between two mothers and two lives.

For years, Korean adoptee Jane Jeong Trenka tried to be the ideal daughter by being polite, earning perfect grades, and being an exceptional concert pianist. She learned not to ask about the mother who had given her away while living with her American family. When moving to a big city after receiving a music scholarship, one of her fellow university students began to follow her. His obsessions ultimately escalated into a plot for her murder.

Trenka's memoir recounts repeated close encounters with her stalker and the years of repressed questions that were awakened by her experience. Trenka became determined not to be defined by her stalker's twisted assessment of her worth and embarked upon a search for her own identity. She was forced to confront her American family and fight the bureaucracy at the agency that arranged her adoption. She wished for freedom from western stereotypes of geishas and good girls.

Other publications by Jane Jeong Trenka include prose and poetry: "Speakeasy," "Water-Stone," "Off the Wall," "Rag Shock," and "Carriage House Review." Having been selected for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers program, Trenka is not one to be missed in the Fall Reading Series.

The remaining three Library Breezeway readings are student readings scheduled for Oct. 31, Nov. 21, and Dec. 5. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information on the Library Breezeway, contact Jennifer Brantley in the University English Department at 715/425-3173, or email her at jennifer.s.brantley@uwrf.edu.

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