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Voices from Another Place
Collection of Works from a Generation Born in Korea and Adopted to Other Countries

Editted By Susan Soon-Keum Cox

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Reviewed by Allison Martin

Voices from Another Place, edited by Susan Soon-Keum Cox, is a marvelous collection of autobiographical stories, poems and artwork by adult Korena adoptees about their adoption experience. These articulate men and women share their feelings and their journeys as transracial and transcultural adoptees in their writings and art - from childhood to the present. This is the best book on the experiences of Asian American adoptees available, and I recommend it to anyone interested in transcultural or transracial adoption and families.

The mesh of individuality and creativity of the human spirit shown in this book will catch you by surprise and admiration. Most of the writers and artists who contributed to Voices were adopted from Korea in the 70's and 80's, and are now in their 20's and 30's. Many of the were adopted as infants, however a surprising number were older and retain intriguing memories of their childhood in Korea.

Important themes resonate through the book - the duality of the being Asian American, growing up as one of the few Asians in the area, revisiting Korea, feelings about birthparents, love and respect for family, life as a journey of exploration, and an general attitude of success. Attitudes toward Asian culture and adoption ranging from ambivalence to acceptance to rejection (often depending on lifestage and personality). This book will leave you feeling thougthful and optimistic about the adoption experience and about the incredible value that these "children" offer to the world.

Adoption agencies and adoptive parents should place this remarkable book in their recommended reading lists. Read it for pleasure and to broaden your own depth of understanding of the adoption experience.

An example excerpt from the book:

"Looking back, I would not change being Korean or being adopted. The reasons and cirucmstances that brought me to the orphanage and adoption are secrets of the past. Every year I learn more about my Korean connection. I no longer live in limbo between two cultures but feel the privilege instead to reap the benefits of the best of both worlds. Moreover, I have strengthened my ties with other minorities to create a support network of African Americans, refugee Asians and people like myself. I finally have realized that as with other people of color, my acceptance in either culture depends on how I see myself, not what others allow me to see.

"I am a Korean American adoptee. I am proud to be me."

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