The Lost Mother: The Story of Iltang


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Joon Ja Kim is a Korean-American author who resides in Southern California.


The Lost Mother is the memoir of Iltang, an acclaimed Korean/Japanese painter born in 1922. His Korean mother, Ilyeop, was a well-known feminist poet who, after her son’s birth, renounced everything, including her young son, to become a Buddhist monk. Iltang’s father was the scion of an aristocratic Japanese family, a union that was virtually unheard of at that time. Against all odds, Iltang achieved success as an artist but had not been able to fill the void created by his mother’s abandonment until the moment he realized that he, too, may need to embark on a spiritual journey similar to his mother’s to attain true peace and healing. This is Iltang’s powerful story, made even more vibrant, inspiring, and poignant given the historical context and era during which it takes place.


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