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Ten Thousand Sorrows Paperback – 1 Jul 2002

31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; New Ed edition (1 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553812645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553812640
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 754,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

"I don't know how old I was when I watched my mother's murder, nor do I know how old I am today." So begins the incredible true story of Elizabeth Kim, born to a poor Korean woman in the 1950s after her affair with an American GI who promptly dumped her. Elizabeth's mother was condemned to a pariah existence on the edge of the village, virtually ignored and left to bring up her illegitimate daughter single-handedly. Elizabeth herself was spat at as a 'honhyol'--mixed-race, a non-person, an animal (anyone who thinks that racism is purely a Western disease should read this book). One day, two male relatives came to the hut, killed her mother, and subjected her hated child to a form of torture unimaginable in its barbarism. Elizabeth was sent to a Seoul orphanage where she was kept in a virtual cage, then--worst of all, psychologically--she was adopted by an American Christian fundamentalist couple and taken away to the mid-West dustbowl to be hammered into an all-American Girl. Although this may sound like no more than a catalogue of horrors, it is much more: a story of resilience, survival, and hope, and most importantly of all, of the rediscovery of love and trust when those values seemed quite extinguished. Elizabeth also found her true mother's religion of Buddhism and you can learn more about that creed from this book than from any number of glib Western DIY guides. This is Buddhism felt on the pulse and in the marrow. --Christopher Hart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

‘A magnificent tribute to the power of forgiveness. Elizabeth Kim writes with clarity, honesty and power’ -- DAVE PELZER

‘All one wants for this exceptional woman is that she be granted 10,000 joys' -- THE TIMES

‘Remarkable…More harrowing than any novel’ -- ARTHUR GOLDEN

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Julie Ravariere-Moakes on 15 July 2002
Format: Paperback
I found the book to be both moving and shocking. A story of a women's life told up to the present day. The terrors and tragedies she has seen and endured in her native land, Korea, and her adopted land American. As a small child watching her mother being killed in her home, then being tortured and almost killed herself. Placed in an orphanage come prison, until she was finally adopted and sent to American where there she suffered emotional torture. I shed tears during some of this book, but at the same time it made me feel that in my own life I have been very lucky. A fabulously written book. I read it in 1.5 days.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback
I found this book very humbling, as I could never associate my childhood with that of Elizabeth's as it was so dreadful. I have a habit of choosing books with similar stories such as Dave Pelzer's books and Adeline Yen Mah, but this one was harrowing as the author's experiences went on during her adult life too.
People have ridiculed the book for the author moaning about her Christian upbringing, but I find that this is not how a child should be brought up and Elizabeth proves this. As this child had her own beliefs in Buddism and was not allowed to project these, but who had a obligation to her foster parents to convey a religion which was not her own.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is feeling sorry for themselves, as it will make you think of how lucky you are to have your family around you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Aug. 2001
Format: Hardcover
Several times I had to pause and wonder about the authenticity of some aspects of this account. However, I swallowed my cynicism and realised what a marvellous achievement this book is. I should quibble about details when this woman's childhood was plunged into disaster and no-one was ever able to tell her how old she was or at what age she was orphaned! The wisdom she achieved was awe-inspiring and her words touched me deeply. I hope she finds the peace and contentment that she so richly deserves.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By janicehodgson@helmsley.co.uk on 17 May 2001
Format: Hardcover
I am usually a reader of 'nice' fiction about village life etc; But as soon as this book arrived at our office I couldn't put it down. I was atounded by the wonderful and yet such a moving account of one womens life to date. It was written without emotion and matter of fact. How could anyone could accept the life she (Elizabeth Kim) did, and yet she seemed punish herself for other peoples actions. I would love to meet the woman, and let her know how much I admire her. We are so lucky.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Oct. 2000
Format: Hardcover
Ten Thousand Sorrows is not a fiction; it is reality as some people may not accept. As Elizabeth Kim put it, people in the world have different customs and beliefs that may not seem rational or 'normal' for others, but the fact is, they exist. Obedience, for one, is an Asian quality that most Westerners would not appreciate nor understand. But if you examine the culture and the history of these people, you will value, if not admire such character. This book is as real as a story can be told. I am sure, Omma is happy to know that her sacrifice was not in vain. I am bowing to Kim's work of expression and to her continuing effort to achieve true peace and happiness!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sm.reilly@virgin.net on 3 Sept. 2001
Format: Hardcover
I read this just after reading the Dave Pelzer trilogy, and whilst I found them astonishing and equally unbelievable this strikes you on a different level. The single fact that made me read this and doesn't ever leave you once you have read it is that as a little girl Elizabeth Kim watched her mother murdered for the sake of honour and couldn't do a single thing about it. That alone is more than any one person should ever have to bare, but then when she thought her saviours had come in the shape of an American couple, the horrors only continue. Utterly heart breaking...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Dec. 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am almost finished reading this book after receiving it yesterday for my 15th birthday from a grandparent. I have not been able to put it down since finishing "Hannibal" by Thomas Harris last night. I like reading a variety of different types of novel and this book fits in with my love of books from the survivors of the Holocaust. It is a really heartfelt story and she [Elizabeth Kim] is a very strong person to live through the traumas and raise her own child. It makes you think about how lucky we are as readers and not experiencers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Terena Brinton on 29 Aug. 2000
Format: Hardcover
When I read books like Elizabeth's it reminds me of just how lucky a hell of a lot of people are and how abysmally people like Elizabeth are treated. It is sometimes too easy to forget that not everybody has a good life. It certainly forces you to take stock of your own situation and what you consider to be unfair and cruel in life.
A beautifully and couragously written account of her life. My only question is: "How have you forgiven so many people Elizabeth?"
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