PASADENA — Quickly surveying the bustling Vroman’s Bookstore, the woman in black bustles through the book aisles scoping out the best location for her new book. She is Sarai Koo, a Los Angeleno, whose passion for relationship-building and storytelling builds bridges.
Sarai Koo, an American woman of Korean ancestry, interrogates the myth of the “model minority” with poignancy and humor in her first book, Seoul Food: A Korean American Living in Los Angeles. This book is a contemporary memoir of a young woman’s ability to define herself despite pressures to conform.
Among the topics Koo takes on include body image and beauty standards, educational institutions, overcoming the aftermath of the 1990s LA riots, and, of course, food — Seoul food.
Although my personal opinion of this book may be biased due to my acquaintance with the author, the book’s biggest strength is that it shows the complexity of the LA-Pico Rivera community during the 1980s and 90s and beyond making this book a natural read for historians and urban planners, as well as anyone interested in culture.
I’m looking forward to chatting with Sarai Koo about what prompted her to write her memoir, so “stay tuned”.
The book is available at Vroman’s Bookstore Pasadena and Hasting’s Ranch, and on Amazon.
Get a copy!