Woman of Interest: A Memoir

HarperOne. Jun. 2024. 256p. ISBN 9780063309869. $28.99. MEMOIR
O’Neill, who was adopted from South Korea when she was an infant, initially had no desire to learn about her birth parents. Growing up in New England with a boisterous Irish American family, her firecracker personality and unconventional philosophy of life saw her reach her mid-30s with a PhD, teaching at Vassar and having authored two novels: The Hopeful and Quotients. When COVID swept the world, she quarantined with in her Brooklyn apartment and read news articles about older South Koreans left to die alone. This sparked an investigative journey to find O’Neill’s birth parents and ensure they did not meet the same fate. Told through a stream-of-conscious narrative style, her memoir includes obscure vocabulary choices and nonlinear tangents, which might confuse some readers. Others, however, will embrace her memoir, which resembles what experimental jazz would be like if it were a written narrative. Funny, shocking, and emotionally charged, the memoir takes readers on her journey of self-discovery and finding what family means.
VERDICT Suggested for readers who enjoy poetic memoirs, such as Lindsey Frazier’s Oh Love, Come Close and Jane Wong’s Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing