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Publications

For a full list of publications, click here. Below are four selected books (and reviews) that I am pleased to share.  


Tombstones without a Tomb
 
Tombstones book cover Korea's Queen Sindŏk 1355–2005 (expected publication summer 2017)
lineage record sample
Embedded in the wall of a parkway that cuts through the center of Seoul are a series of ornately carved tombstones that in 1396 surrounded the tomb of Korea's Queen Sindŏk. Why these stones are now in public view rather than around their assigned tomb is a story that introduces us in very personal terms to those who ruled the Chosŏn Dynasty.

This book follows the little-known story of the first queen whose honor and multiple dishonors were mired in the turbulent and prolonged controversies between scholars and throne across the six-hundred years of the dynasty.
 


Into the Stillness... of an Ancient Buddhist Temple
 
Into the Stillness book cover
lineage record sample
"Into the Stillness" is a short diary that takes the reader directly into the heart of a Korean Buddhist monastery. You enter alone, without a guide, and learn only by watching, listening, and absorbing the stillness. As such, the diary provides something for both general readers and specialists with students in either high school or college who are interested in Asia, Asian history, religion, or culture.

Readers will find a sensory journey to supplement their factual study of Buddhism or Comparative Religions, for this diary leads the reader into the sights, sounds, and emotion of an ancient temple, and perhaps acts as a guide to calmness and quietness in one's own life.

 


Lineage Records
 
Lineage Records book cover Family Lineage Records as a Resource for Korean History: A Case Study of Thirty-Nine Generations of the Sinch'on Kang Family (720 A.D.–1955)
lineage record sample
Here is a truly creative and fascinating book. The idea—that of making genealogy come to life by linking the straight-forward genealogical table to the historical narrative of the nation—is like that of many great books. That is, it is an idea so obvious that one is prone to think of it as such a natural portrayal of history that someone else must have thought of it before. But no one has—until now.

In this book, the Kang family over the centuries comes to life. The major events of history impact the family and the narrative gives new life to the events by articulating them from the personal perspective of the family that we come to know. Congratulations to the husband and wife team, the Kangs, that give us such a personal view of Korean history. This book will be useful in all levels of Korean studies, history, culture, or language and also by those wishing to understand more fully the make-up and purpose of the Korean lineage records.
 


Black Umbrella
 
cover of Under the Black Umbrella
Under the Black Umbrellascene from colonial Korea
Voices from Colonial Korea, 1910–1945


Whereas history is usually a story of ‘great men’ told by its winners, Hildi Kang’s Under the Black Umbrella offers new insights into Korean history as it was lived every day by ordinary people. The diversity and heterogeneity of human experiences challenge the oversimplified story of the Japanese colonial period in Korea that has held sway in Korean history until now.
This is a pioneering collection of oral histories of Koreans who lived through the turbulent years of Japanese rule. It has many rich, vivid, and moving stories that reveal the complexity of colonial life. No doubt this book will be a valuable addition to the growing body of works on colonial Korean in the West.
 

camp scene
camels!

Chengli  
 
Chengli book coverChengli and the Silk Road Caravan


Chengli’s story is set in China during the early 600s, when the fabled trade route was at its height. Caravans with hundreds of pack animals traveled in both directions carrying precious cargo to and from the cities along the route. When danger struck Chengli’ s caravan and a royal princess was kidnapped, events forced the boy to find courage, skills, and wisdom beyond his wildest dream. The setting for this adventure is real and based on my own journey along this ancient route. The people, of course, are real only in my imagination.

The Asian Pacific American Librarian Association named Chengli and the Silk Road Caravan the winner of the 2012–2013 Asian/Pacific American Librarians Award for Literature in the children's literature category.

Audio recordings, a book review from Alexandria, photos from a trip along ancient trade routes, and more are available on the Chengli Enrichment page.
 


Black Dragon Princess (in Fire and Wings)
 
Fire and Wings book cover dreams in a flame Fire and Wings: Dragon Tales from East and West

This is the tale of a nobleman’s daughter who, at the age of nine, was chosen to be the wife of the crown prince of Korea. She finds that being a princess is not the lovely life she expected, and she is filled with fear and sadness as she leaves her family and enters the palace. Before she was born (in 1735) her father dreamed of a black dragon, making him sure he would have a son who would become important. Once in the palace, the girl receives among her wedding gifts a lovely folding screen—with a black dragon—confirming that she, although a daughter, was the important child.

The inclusion of the story in this anthology is by a twist of fate and only because I happened to title it after the black dragons in the life of the princess. I could have named the story “Shining Pearl” for that is what her parents called her. She never did become queen; her husband died before ascending the throne. However, both her son and her grandson grew up to become kings of Korea.

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