Building a Better Future with Truth: Min Jin Lee
Why is it important to tell true stories about the past?
It is a question that people are grappling with across the world. In the United States, uncomfortable issues like the legacy of slavery have come to the forefront of public debate. Elsewhere, people are examining the accuracy of traditional narratives around colonialism, war, and the origins of the socio-economic order as we know it.
It is a difficult exercise for a community, one that might first appear to be opening old wounds rather than healing them. This is especially true at a time when political and economic anxieties – alongside unprecedented changes in technology and human migration – appear to be already unspooling the fabric of society.
But author Min Jin Lee insists that we must persist in telling true stories about the past because they inform us about who we are and our relationship with one another. They are the very foundations of building a more peaceful and tolerant world.
Korean Kontext caught up with Min Jin Lee at the 2020 Korean American Day celebration in Washington D.C. where she was recognized alongside fellow author Alexander Chee as this year’s honorees for their contributions to American literature and for elevating the voices of Korean Americans in the United States.
If you have not had the chance to check out our interview with Min Jin Lee’s fellow Korean American Day honoree Alexander Chee, you can find that episode here:
Also please check out Min Jin Lee’s short story Stonehenge here: