Why?: Chewy Noh and the Phantasm of Winter
To All My Girls
This dedication is a little more personal in nature. In the past decade or so that I’ve taught, I’ve had many girl students, especially of late elementary and middle school ages. Because of this, I’ve seen how they react to the world around them and the way they see themselves fit into it. Unfortunately, as it is for many girls, some of my students had negative images of themselves. I have seen them grow from positive, charming, beautiful girls into self-conscious, doubting teens or pre-teens. The constrast was stark and unnerving. In this way, the character, Su Bin, in this book stands as an amalgam of many of them. She is smart, but weak and full of doubt. She doesn’t believe she is pretty and not just because of her own thoughts. Many times the world around her agrees with her secret doubts, and it makes her all the more pained. Su Bin’s appearance doesn’t coincide with the types and standards Koreans hold most beautiful. Nonetheless, having lived in Korea for many years, I’ve noticed that many times these standards don’t always overlap with American standards, and I wanted the Su Bins of the world to know and understand that.