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Extended Audio Sample The Calligraphers Daughter: A Novel Audiobook, by Eugenia Kim Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,565 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Eugenia Kim Narrator: Lorna Raver Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2009 ISBN: 9781400183548
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In early-twentieth-century Korea, Najin Han, the privileged daughter of a calligrapher, longs to choose her own destiny. Smart and headstrong, she is encouraged by her mother-but her stern father is determined to maintain tradition, especially as the Japanese steadily gain control of his beloved country. When he seeks to marry Najin into an aristocratic family, her mother defies generations of obedient wives and instead sends her to serve in the king's court as a companion to a young princess. But the king is soon assassinated, and the centuries-old dynastic culture comes to its end. In the shadow of the dying monarchy, Najin begins a journey through increasing oppression that will forever change her world. As she desperately seeks to continue her education, will the unexpected love she finds along the way be enough to sustain her through the violence and subjugation her country continues to face? Spanning thirty years, The Calligrapher's Daughter is a richly drawn novel in the tradition of Lisa See and Amy Tan about a country torn between ancient customs and modern possibilities, a family ultimately united by love, and a woman who never gives up her search for freedom. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Raver's throaty richness...fits the royalty of the Korean court, where Najin's mother sends her to escape an arranged marriage. AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 2/19/2014

    " Beautiful writing. Lets the reader in on historical events that most Americans are not aware of. I love it when I can learn history through the eyes of a character I am attached to. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 2/14/2014

    " This tale of a young girl coming of age in Korea during the time of the revolution was a good history lesson. I learned a lot and once again am very grateful to live in this time and place!!! It is a very interesting picture of the role of women in Korea. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Novlan | 2/5/2014

    " This is a MUST read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie Anderson | 2/4/2014

    " If I ever learned about Korea's history, I don't remember it. I've heard of the Korean War, but nothing before that. What a life this lady lead. It made me feel spoiled and selfish. I was surprised how many things are similar to the Japanese women. They still cover their mouths when they laugh and are still less important than a man or his wants. Things changed a lot during her lifetime, but I'm glad I don't have to be a lesser being to a man. Wow, lots of food for thought. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marianne | 1/25/2014

    " Just when I was beginning to lose my footing, this novel helped me remember my origins... it touches memories, traditions and nostalgia buried deep inside me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth | 1/25/2014

    " It took me a long time to read this but it was really good. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Angel | 1/19/2014

    " I felt like this book drug on longer than was necessary. It was ok but not something I would read again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sylvachristenson | 12/31/2013

    " Wonderful look at the culture of Korea in that era. It also had a spiritually uplifting message about facing trials. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paula | 11/7/2013

    " Read this one for my book club, did not love it, it had potential, good idea, but fell flat. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alisa | 9/4/2013

    " Interesting story of a young woman progressing through life in Korea during the early 1900s, through the war, and the challenges of life she goes through. I find it interesting to read about the customs of other countries. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brianne | 4/9/2012

    " Liked it. Reading it once is enough. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carin | 3/6/2012

    " This book is slow reading but totally worth it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rina | 2/20/2012

    " beautiful story. well written. heart-wrenching. I could never have lived through Najin's life, which just makes this historical fiction all the more amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sun Kim | 12/15/2011

    " Very well written book with amazing story line with accurate historical background of Korean during 1912 to 1945. Anyone interested in Korea will enjoy this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dani Dennis | 9/15/2011

    " It had a good story, but I just couldn't finish it. I might try it again sometime, maybe I just wasn't in the mood for this type of story right now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edith | 7/13/2011

    " what an historical experience with a beautiful story entwined.just marvelous to read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 5/20/2011

    " This tale of a young girl coming of age in Korea during the time of the revolution was a good history lesson. I learned a lot and once again am very grateful to live in this time and place!!! It is a very interesting picture of the role of women in Korea. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carin | 5/10/2011

    " This book is slow reading but totally worth it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 5/9/2011

    " I enjoyed this book. Other than the very beginning, I found the pace and plot very suitable to a relaxing and interesting read. I also really enjoy historical fiction, and this was a history that I knew nothing about. I'd recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dayne | 4/27/2011

    " Interesting to learn of a different culture. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsey | 4/24/2011

    " Started out really good, but became rather fantastical as the book went on, and the main character lost her appeal as she became a simple pawn in the lives of men around her. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 4/18/2011

    " It was interesting because it took place in Korea, and I didn't know that much about Korea. It takes place during the Japanese occupation of Korea leading up to World War II. It showed how women can be strong even when their roles are limited. It also shows the value of patience. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol Rich | 4/11/2011

    " I really enjoyed the plot and the masterful description of life in Korea in the late 1800's and early 1900's. I felt like the action dragged a bit and that some of the descriptive passages were slow-moving or I would have given the book a 4 star rating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 4/3/2011

    " Really, really enjoyed this book! Wish there were more from this author, so I look forward to the future! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Holly | 3/31/2011

    " Liked the story, but very slow paced. Beautiful historical detail. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brigid | 3/30/2011

    " It's a good story, but when I find myself looking for other books to read instead, I know it's time to pack it in. "

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About the Author
Author Eugenia Kim

Eugenia Kim is the daughter of Korean immigrant parents who came to America shortly after the Pacific War. She has published short stories and essays in journals and anthologies, including Echoes upon Echoes: New Korean American Writings, and is an MFA graduate of Bennington College. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and son.

About the Narrator

Lorna Raver, named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Voices of the Year, has received numerous Audie Award nominations and fifrteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. An experienced stage actress, she has also guest-starred on many top television series and starred in director Sam Raimi’s film Drag Me to Hell. Her numerous audiobook credits include The Age of Innocence, Up from Orchard Street, The Lodger, Selected Readings from the Portable Dorothy Parker, and Diamond Ruby.