This is a great question. I had been working around another book project with the amazing IVP editor, Helen Lee. Knowing that I was wanting to grow stronger as a writer, she was gracious enough to include me in Soul Bare. I loved the topic and some of the writing samples I read, and this really seemed to tie into the desire for me to explore identity. So many times we want to present the perfect versions of ourselves, when we know that life is more real than that.
I think a lot of second generation kids experience this sort of liminal space, not being fully Asian because we were born or raised in the U.S., but not considered fully “American” because we didn’t look the part. Many of us have very diverse narratives depending on the environment we grew up in, but for me growing up in a white suburb of Atlanta I just didn’t fit in physically, mentally, and emotionally. My Korean parents raised me according to their culture, which often clashed with that of the typical American family. We weren’t taught to have an emotional connection to our parents, and the way love was shown was through providing material needs and access to the highest level of education. The children in turn showed love by pursuing the American dream: house, cars, job, education, and money. It was quite the contrast from the way my white friends had related to their parents.
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One thought on “A Soul Bare Interview: Neglect, Healing, and Grace with Angie Hong”
I’m enjoying these interviews finding a little about the story behind the stories in the book. Angie’s words have hope and I love this: “I want people to know that God wants us to be real, not perfect, and that is the good news of the gospel we need to spread.” Real, not perfect! Amen.