Good writing inspires creativity. | 639 Minutes Once I was finished with that, I needed to distance myself so that their stories could become a fictional storyline, so I threw myself into researching WWII, the Japanese colonization of Korea and their invasion of Manchuria and then China. Korea is a fascinating country and its full history might not be familiar to many American readers. For this novel, I began my research as soon as I contemplated writing about the “comfort women” and didn’t really stop researching until I finished the final draft. In the beginning, Hana’s was the only voice in my head. It was interesting for me to learn that the yellow chrysanthemum flower is also used in the Imperial Seal of Japan for the Japanese Emperor and the Imperial Family. Over the course of writing the book, I began to loathe waking up in the morning knowing that today I would have to write about Hana’s captivity. What kind of research did you do for the book? Anytime I’m stuck, I pick up a book and read. More Korean words for chrysanthemum. He is every man who decided his own needs were worth more than anyone else’s. Join Our Holiday House Virtual Event Featuring Author Demos, Book Recommendations, and More! 9. [R]ich with historical detail, White Chrysanthemum is a compelling and important account of civilian women’s lives during wartime.”—BookPage“This moving and redemptive debut is a heart-breaker. Her voice grew through my need to distance myself from Hana’s difficult scenes. There she is forced to become a “comfort woman” in a Japanese military brothel. Oct 02, 2018 Finalist for the 2019 Dayton Literary Peace PrizeFor fans of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko and Lilac Girls, the heartbreaking history of Korea is brought to life in this deeply moving and redemptive debut that follows two sisters separated by World War II.Korea, 1943. I don’t think my desire to learn more about any of these topics will ever cease. Was it something you always aspired to? She gave me helpful criticism and absolute freedom to write the book that I wanted to write. How long did it take you? I had decided to become a writer in high school, until my mother convinced me I would be a pauper and that getting a “real” job would be more sensible. Tell us about your connection to Korea, and why you decided to set the novel there. If you want to be a writer, read everything! gughwa national flower, mum. How did this culture come to play a role in White Chrysanthemum? In the United States, the flower is usually regarded as positive and cheerful, with New Orleans as a notable exception. And finally I began to research Mongolia and their way of life and their portable homes and beautiful animals. 5. As working women who were the breadwinners in their households, haenyeo divers on Jeju Island gained a certain amount of autonomy and position in their society, unlike any other women in Korea. Buy, Jan 30, 2018 She was the firstborn daughter in a patriarchal, historically Confucian society that prized male heirs, and she often said that if she had been born a male, her entire life would have turned out differently. Korean Translation. Emi has spent more than sixty years trying to forget the sacrifice her sister made, but she must confront the past to discover peace. The title refers to the Korean mourning flower, as white chrysanthemums are typically brought to graves and used for burial ceremonies. Buy. We are experiencing technical difficulties. I originally planned for the ending to be darker, but as the novel progressed and as I fell more in love with both sisters, I realized I couldn’t leave them without some sort of resolution. In order to look forward to the day’s writing, I began to write with Emi’s voice as a sort of motivator, and I could then transition to Hana’s voice.