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With a touch of magical realism, this new book explores the Korean diaspora in Hawai’i

"Nuclear Family" by Joseph Han
Counterpoint Press
"Nuclear Family" by Joseph Han. Cover art by Robin Bilardello.

In sitting down to write his first novel, author Joseph Han worked to untangle threads of his family history in Hawaiʻi and Korea. That personal experience remains the core of his new book "Nuclear Family." But the story goes well beyond the bounds of an autobiography.

The novel tells the story of the Cho family, who operate a Korean plate-lunch restaurant in Hawaiʻi. The central conflict kicks off after the family’s eldest son Jacob is caught on television trying to cross the Korean demilitarized zone. But Han says there is more going on with Jacob than meets the eye.

Han will be celebrating the launch of "Nuclear Family" at da Shop book store in Kaimuki at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7. This interview aired on The Conversation on June 6, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Savannah Harriman-Pote is the energy and climate change reporter. She is also the lead producer of HPR's This Is Our Hawaiʻi podcast. Contact her at sharrimanpote@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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