Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"This Burns My Heart"

Samuel Park is an Assistant Professor of English at Columbia College Chicago. He is a graduate of Stanford and the University of Southern California, where he earned his doctorate in English. He is the author of the novella Shakespeare's Sonnets and the writer-director of the short film of the same name, which was an official selection of numerous domestic and international film festivals.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, This Burns My Heart, and reported the following:
Page 69 presents both a twist and a turning point in the novel: it’s the scene where one of the characters stops pretending he’s something he’s not, and reveals himself to be a much more scheming person than the heroine knew. At that moment, she realizes she’s made a terrible mistake—one that will haunt her for the rest of the story. Page 69 leads to the end of the first section, and provides the starting point for the middle section of the book.

Set in 1960s South Korea, This Burns My Heart centers around Soo-Ja, a privileged young woman. As the story begins, Soo-Ja finds out she’s been accepted to study to become a diplomat. However, her overprotective parents refuse to let her leave their village. Ambitious and resourceful, Soo-Ja devises a plan to trick a young man into marrying her and thus win her freedom from her parents. Meanwhile, the nation’s in disarray as student protests push for the ouster of the dictatorial President.

Page 69 encapsulates some of the central themes of the book: that the greatest violence is done between people who know each other, and that when it comes to love, a careless choice can lead to surprisingly tragic results.
Learn more about the book and author at Samuel Park's website and blog.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue