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Prize-Winning Norwegian Writer Visits Native Korea

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  • Sunny Jo
    Prize-Winning Norwegian Writer Visits Native Korea A Korean woman who was adopted by a Norwegian couple when she was 7 months old has returned to her home
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 6, 2007
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      Prize-Winning Norwegian Writer Visits Native Korea

      A Korean woman who was adopted by a Norwegian couple when she was 7
      months old has returned
      to her home country after winning Norway's most prestigious literary
      award. Synne Sun Loes (31), who
      won the Brage Award in 2002, met reporters at the residence of the
      Norwegian ambassador on
      Monday to mark the publication of her award-winning book “A spise
      blomster till frokost� in
      Korean. Her Korean name is Ji-seon. "I am proud and thankful that my
      book is published here in
      Korea,� she said. "I am quite nervous seeing that so many people are
      interested in my book.�

      Adopted by a Norwegian family along with her twin brother, who suffered

      from heart disease, Loes
      first met her biological parents in Korea five years ago. "I was
      nervous but I enjoyed the meeting. But I
      was embarrassed by the outpouring of guilt from my birth parents.�

      At the time of their adoption, her twin brother was in an incubator,
      and their birth mother bedridden too. Their father, who spent nearly all

      of his
      money on medical expenses, decided to leave the two children in the
      hands of the Holt Children's Services for adoption without his wife's
      knowledge. Later, the parents notified the agency whenever they moved
      so the children would be able to track them down. "My twin brother,
      who was working in Japan, visited Korea and the Holt Children's
      Services and found a memo my birth parents left that they really wanted
      see their children,â€? Loes recalls. “He met our birth parents the
      next day and I met them the next year.�

      The novel was translated into Korean by Sohn Hwa-soo, who majors in
      Scandanavian literature in Norway, with the support of the Norwegian
      government. Publication in Korea was possible as her sister, who is a
      year younger and lives in Korea, happens to be an aspiring writer who
      graduated from Seoul Institute of the Arts' creative writing department

      and introduced her older sister's novel to Munhakdongne Publishing.

      The novel is based on Loes’ four months as a nurse on a psychiatric
      ward. The main character, Mia, is a 17-year-old girl with bipolar
      disorder. The book describes Mia's mental confusion in the psychiatric
      ward according to the seasonal changes. "My book received
      passionate responses from women between 18 and 25,� she says.
      "Writers tend to be deeply interested in the linguistic skills of people

      considered abnormal by society. The truth is that I, too, am abnormal
      in some sense, and so is everybody else.� In addition to working on
      her next novel, Loes offers counseling services at psychiatric

      Asked about the book’s title, which translates as “Eating Flowers
      for Breakfast,â€? she said, "Mia is hungry but she doesn’t eat
      the food ordinary people eat. She eats flowers… things that are
      beautiful...She eats life and digests it.� During this visit, Loes
      also met
      her biological grandmother and uncle. She lectures at the National
      Library for Children and Young Adults at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

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