All You Can Ever Know

Catapult. Oct. 2018. 240p. ISBN 9781936787975. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781936787982. MEMOIR
OrangeReviewStarChung's birth parents gave her up for adoption when she was two months old. Raised by white parents five hours outside Portland, OR, she went 18 years without getting to know another person of Korean heritage. Her parents never hid the facts of her adoption from her, but they were also ill-equipped to answer the questions she had about her identity as a transracial adoptee. When Chung encounters racism from a classmate on the playground, her parents tell her just to ignore it. Years later, in high school, Chung discovers the paperwork with the name and number of the lawyer who handled her adoption back in 1981. What follows is the gripping story of her journey to connect with her birth parents and, later, the sisters she never knew she had. Chung includes her sister Cindy's experience of finding out the younger sibling she thought had died during birth was actually alive and trying to contact her.
VERDICT This touching memoir explores issues of identity, racism, motherhood, and sisterhood with eloquence and grace. Highly recommended.
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