siel ju

live and write in l.a.
Book reviews
September giveaway: Isadora by Amelia Gray

September giveaway: Isadora by Amelia Gray

I’m one of those people who don’t function well when there’s a lot of drama going on in life, yet I often find myself pulled towards it, and to people who go out of their way to seek it out. I think many people are this way — which explains… read more

August book reviews: Mothers, lovers, and our multiple selves

August book reviews: Mothers, lovers, and our multiple selves

Brief reviews of books by contemporary authors I read this month — along with photos of what I ate while reading. The list is ordered by the level my enjoyment: Person/a by Elizabeth Ellen (Short Flight/Long Drive Books, 2017) “I click on the link as a way of saying hi.… read more

The Many fictions of Elizabeth Ellen's Person/a

The Many fictions of Elizabeth Ellen’s Person/a

It’s a strange and thrilling experience, reading as a finished book what you once read in rough manuscript form. Last summer, I read a draft of Elizabeth Ellen’s novel-in-progress while at a residency at The Anderson Center. At that time, the manuscript — a highly autobiographical work about a short-lived… read more

The terrible secret of Joan Didion's South and West

The terrible secret of Joan Didion’s South and West

Which contemporary authors are overrated? I got into a conversation about this with a couple other writers at a recent Pen Center USA event. Joan Didion’s name came up — and though I haven’t read enough of her oeuvre to come down on a side on this question, I do… read more

5 healthy Korean dishes to try in Los Angeles -- with matching reads

5 healthy Korean dishes to try in Los Angeles — with matching reads

If your Korean mother was like my Korean mother, you grew up eating lots of fresh veggie dishes made from scratch — with a shitload of MSG sprinkled in for flavor. Seriously, MSG was my mother’s favorite seasoning. Eating the stuff now makes me feel instantly ill and irritable —… read more

August Giveaway: Mothers and Other Strangers by Gina Sorell

August Giveaway: Mothers and Other Strangers by Gina Sorell

“My father proposed to my mother at gunpoint when she was nineteen, and knowing that she was already pregnant with a dead man’s child, she accepted.” How can you read that first sentence and not read on? This tiny tidbit of Gina Sorell’s debut novel Mothers and Other Strangers gripped… read more