29 January, 2016
Uncle Kyungwhan comes for a visit and Solee likes him immediately. They go hiking and enjoy each other's company early in the morning before her younger sisters, Jieun and Mila, wake up. Solee is an elementary school aged girl who feeds a starving dog and gives it the name, Dokkaebi, which is a Korean goblin of sorts. There is some seething trouble in the household as the father especially, and probably the mother as well, drink too much. Something is wrong with one of the father's arms. We never learn what happened. Uncle Kyungwhan is somewhat of a goblin or trickster himself as he upsets the so-called apple cart of the household. It's insinuated that Haemi, Solee's mother, and Kyungwhan have an affair or he at least is there to comfort her or maybe to encourage her to leave her husband that we believe to be abusive. The story is told in a first-person point of view of Solee who is not very old but her sophistication and understanding of sexuality is burgeoning. "Solee" is in the current issue, winter 2016, of The Southern Review. The cover illustration, a painting detail by Deedra Ludwig, of this issue is beautiful and I love the soft texture of the cover. Crystal Hana Kim's story can be heard at Soundcloud. I assume it is read by Kim.