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Crystal Hana Kim, Age 7
A recipient of fellowships from Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Hedgebrook, and the Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo Residency, Crystal Hana Kim is currently at work on her first novel, which was a runner-up for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship in 2015. She wrote this essay in 1995.
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— Crystal Hana Kim, Age 7
“I was shy around everyone except my family. I preferred solitary activities, particularly writing. On the white sheets of my notebook, I was capable of creating worlds. I wrote stories about dinosaurs and secret puppies stored in cardboard boxes. I kept a journal of my daily activities. I was intensely interested in my Korean heritage and at the same time, I yearned to be ‘American,’ whatever that may mean. I like this piece about New Year’s Day because of how proud I seem to be about having our own customs. I’m writing a novel set in Korea now. I wonder what my seven-year-old self would think of it.”