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"The scope of these stories is as immense as their renderings are masterful. More than a mere family saga, the collection testifies to the history of anti-Asian racism and immigration policy in the U.S. and to the powers of family, place, belonging, and identity."

—JODY HOBBS HESLER, Necessary Fiction

"Every page not only delights and instructs but also provokes and moves us, lingering like a remembered dream."

—JOAN FRANK, San Francisco Chronicle

"Waiting for Mr. Kim and Other Stories, Carol Roh Spaulding’s uniquely linked collection of stories and one novella, follows three generations of the Song family, beginning with the family’s emigration from Korea to California shortly before the 1924 Immigration Act. Decade by decade, with shifting perspectives, Waiting for Mr. Kim lays out what it means to be a daughter and what it means to be a mother, what it means to be an immigrant, what it means to be an Asian American woman in this country. The reader first meets Grace—whose perspective threads through many of the stories—via her older sister, a ghost narrator who died tragically and whose death haunts these stories. In the novella that ends the collection, Grace is a grandmother caring for the son of her estranged daughter and is also an older woman embracing desire and love. Roh Spaulding’s prose is gorgeous and lyrical, at other times quiet and restrained, always beautifully precise.Waiting for Mr. Kim is the collection that we have been waiting for, whether we knew it or not.”

—LORI OSTLUND, Series Editor of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction

“To call Waiting for Mr. Kim a collection doesn’t do it justice; each gem of a story stands alone, the cumulative heft of the characters (including a ghost) spanning the long sweep of the diasporic experience of one family is as satisfying and epic as a multivolume novel.”

—MARIE MYUNG-OK LEE, author of The Evening Hero

"Roh Spaulding's stories draw you in so close you feel them fluttering at your core, where they haunt you and crack you open. With poetic prose clear as mountain water, each character offers brutally honest explorations of how the past steers your future. Whether shouldering the burdens of shifting cultures, lingering poverty, or offering clear-eyed truths of what it means to be a woman in the world with the pressure of conforming bearing down, each page shines with grit and grace. Not since reading Joan Silber’s Improvement and Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Water Museum, have I been ushered so completely over the invisible bridges between two countries. I’m left in awe of this wise and vital collection."

—DEVIN MURPHY, author of The Boat Runner 

"This is an absolutely lovely book—quietly affecting, crystalline stories that build in radiance and astonishing power. Waiting for Mr. Kim is a wondrous achievement." 

—DON LEE, author of Yellow and The Partition

Interviews & press

Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction 2024 Series Judges, Lori Ostlund, University of Georgia Press

Meet the Author, Megan Reuther, WHO 13: Hello Iowa

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