The Language of Blood

Title:
The Language of Blood
Jane Jeong Trenka
Price$15.00
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“Trenka has structured her book in a delightful, spiraling collage of prose forms. Her use of letters (both real and imagined), fairy tales, one-act plays, imaginary science projects, rules for home economics, excerpts from child-welfare manuals and poems are woven into a language-rich tapestry. . . the book, a lovely chaos of art and imagination and memory, reads like life itself. . . Such is the power of The Language of Blood, a book that translates, and transcends, the eternal questions of home, belonging, family, identity.”—Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

"Jane Jeong Trenka's writing provides a richness not found in most memoirs."—Time Out Chicago

About the Book

"Adoption memoirs are not rare, but this one stands out because of the quality of the writing and the aspect of adoption it portrays."—Booklist
My name is Jeong Kyong-Ah. My ancestry includes landowners, scholars, and government officials. I have six siblings. I am a citizen of the Republic of Korea. I come from a land of pear fields and streams, where people laugh loudly and honor their dead.

Halfway around the world, I am someone else.

Jane Jeong Trenka and her sister Carol were adopted by Frederick and Margaret Brauer and raised in the small, homogeneous town of Harlow, Minnesota--a place "where the sky touches the earth in uninterrupted horizon . . . where stoicism is stamped into the bones of each generation." They were loved as American children without a past.

With inventive and radiant prose that includes real and imagined letters, a fairy tale, a one-act play, crossword puzzles, and child-welfare manuals, Trenka recounts a childhood of insecurity, a battle with a stalker that escalates to a plot for her murder, and an extraordinary trip to Seoul to meet her birth mother and siblings. Lost between two cultures for the majority of her life, it is in Korea that she begins to understand her past and the power of the unspoken language of blood.

Additional Reviews

“Adoption memoirs are not rare, but this one stands out because of the quality of the writing and the aspect of adoption it portrays.”—Booklist

“A book born of a need for release, for confrontation, and for connection. It is a beacon for adopted families, and a powerful addition to the literature of American identity.”—Minnesota Monthly

"A book that translates and transcends the eternal questions of home, belonging, family, identity."—Adoption Quarterly