Years ago I started writing a true ghost story about my maternal grandfather. The story kept growing and wouldn’t let me go. Though that writing is still unfinished, it was a touchstone for the wealth of family lore I’d heard throughout my life. I also discovered there were very few books in English about Korean life during the Japanese occupation and even fewer from a woman’s point of view. With Asia’s long tradition of suppressing the female voice, this vacuum felt more like a silence than an oversight, intriguing me further. The writings grew and I soon realized I couldn’t do justice to the vividness of my family’s stories unless I could make them come more alive — through fiction.