There are many descriptions of him - a malcontent, a misguided liberal, and even being un-American. He's an international business consultant.
The year began with an industrial diamond sale in Beijing. While there, he becomes involved with a North Korean and his sister, who want to defect to America. Trying to stop them is a North Korean policeman, who hunts defectors.
Meanwhile, he tries to carry out his business obligations. Along the way, he meets a variety of characters who are the modern generation of the new Asia.
He meets a special woman who could change his life. He has doubts about sustaining a lasting relationship, but she has none and possesses the conviction he lacks. The affair becomes part of his dilemma.
Life for him had become a transitory series of personal connections, ending in unfulfilled expectations. A major obstacle in his search for stability is that he cannot define his own identity. He believes going to Asia is an answer. Asia is a mythical haven for him.
Asians give him an identity, but it is not uniquely personal. It's generic. People there know him as the Korean from America. Maybe that's his only real identity.
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June 17, 2009
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