Quiet Odyssey: A Pioneer Korean Woman in America by Mary Paik LeeQuiet Odyssey: A Pioneer Korean Woman in America by Mary Paik Lee

Quiet Odyssey: A Pioneer Korean Woman in America

byMary Paik LeeIntroduction bySucheng Chan

Paperback | April 1, 1990

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Mary Paik Lee, born Paik Kuang Sun in 1900, left her native country in 1905, traveling with her parents as a political refugee after Japan imposed control over Korea at the close of the Russo-Japanese War. Her father labored in the sugar plantations of Hawaii for a year and a half before taking his family to California, where Mrs. Lee has lived ever since. Though her father knew the comforts enjoyed by the educated traditional elite in Korea, after emigration he and his family shared the poverty stricken existence endured by thousands of Asian immigrants in early twentieth century America. Mrs. Lee?s parents earned their living as farm laborers, tenant farmers, cooks, and janitors, and the family always took in laundry. Her father tried mercury mining until his health gave out. In their turn, Mrs. Lee and her husband farmed, sold produce, and managed apartment buildings.

The author is engagingly outspoken and is extremely observant of her social and natural surroundings. Recounted incidents take on memorable life, as do the sharply etched settings of California?s agricultural and mining country. She tells of singular hardship surmounted with resilience and characteristic grace. During much of her life Asian Americans were not treated as full human beings, yet she kept a powerful vision of what the United States could be.

Title:Quiet Odyssey: A Pioneer Korean Woman in AmericaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.76 inPublished:April 1, 1990Publisher:UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON PRESS

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295969695

ISBN - 13:9780295969695


Table of Contents


1. Origins2. Oahu and Riverside3. Claremont and Colusa 4. Roberts Island 5. Idria 6. Hollister 7. Willos 8. Marriage 9. Growing Rice 10. Selling Produce 11. Farming Again 12. World War II13. Discrimination 14. Sons 15. Old Age 16. Reflections

Appendix A | The Historiographer?s Role Appendix B | Operating a Korean American Family Farm Appendix C | Korean Rice Growers in the Sacramento Valley

Bibliographic Essay


Maps:Korea: At the Beginning of the Twentieth Century California

Photographs:The Paik family, Korea 1905 Passport issued to Paik Sin Koo, 1905 Church on (Ewa?) plantation Paik Sin Koo, Hawaii, 1905 First grade class, Washington Irving School, Riverside, 1907 The Paik family, Idria, 1915 Transcript for Kuang Paik, San Benito High School, Hollister 1916-17 Paik relatives left behind in Korea, ca. 1917 Hung Man Lee at age twenty-two, Mexico City, 1914 Flooded rice fields, Willows, 1919 Henry Lee and his parents, Anaheim, 1926 The Paik and Lee families, Tremonton, Utah, 1926 Blackboard with Korean alphabet, Tremonton, Utah, 1926 Charlotte Paik with stone mill, Utah, 1926 Henry and Allan Lee and their mother, Anaheim, 1929 Henry Lee and his parents, El Modeno, 1934 Kindergarten class, Norwalk, 1934 Lee family?s produce stand, Whittier, 1940 Lee family?s apartment building, Los Angeles, 1950 Tony Lee and his parents, Los Angeles, 1950 Mr. and Mrs. H.M. Lee, Los Angeles, 1960 With Henry Lee?s Family, Los Angeles, 1969 Fiftieth wedding anniversary, Los Angeles, 1969 Paik siblings, Los Angeles, 1969 H.M. Lee with his half-brother and nephew, Seoul, Korea, 1972 Mrs. Lee with two sons and two granddaughters, Santa Cruz, 1987 Mr. and Mrs. Paik Sin Koo, Tremonton, Utah, 1926 Mary Kuang Sun Paik Lee, San Francisco, 1987