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The Final Tour Week Begins [#18]
Headed into the fifth and final week of touring. Boston, DC and my hometown of Dallas will cap it all off. Plus, K-beauty's role in the film Parasite...
Hi hi hi hi,
Happy Father’s Day! I’m still eating my way across the country and having such rich conversations about #FlawlessTheBook. This week, Boston, DC and my hometown of Dallas will wrap this epic tour.
Thankfully I just finished two “slower” paced weeks where I only visited one city per week — Seattle, then Phoenix. Big thanks to both those places for all the sunshine and (surprisingly) great turnouts.
Before the public event at Elliott Bay in Seattle, the folks at Starbucks hosted me for a midday book talk at its headquarters. Every meeting there starts with a coffee tasting. So the barista cooked up a Korean dalgona iced coffee — dalgona is the sweet treat popularized by Squid Games — just for the event.
In both cities, all went smoothly — no random illnesses, no lost luggage, no missed live TV hits. (Knock on wood). I feel grateful Rob came along for both those stops to help get around, but he’s done touring now, so let’s hope the wheels don’t come off on these final three stops, where I hope to see you and/or your friends.
TUESDAY: Boston at Porter Square Books in Cambridge (Please RSVP)
WEDNESDAY: DC (This is, like LA, shaping up to be a more than 100+ person event and we’re going to have PLENTY of yummy catering, all courtesy of NPR.)
THURSDAY: Dallas (Ticketed event so you can buy your drink tickets in advance).
Some of the Latest Press Links
We really get into the technological gaze on PRX/TED’s How To Be A Better Human
Inside the “Improvement Quarter” in Seoul, an excerpt in Airmail (paywall)
LAist’s K-Pop Dreaming podcast ran an episode featuring the recording of the Flawless LA launch event, where I talked with All Things Considered host Ailsa Chang
I loved the really smart, incisive questions from KUOW’s Soundside host Libby Denkman
I don’t have a link to this but it was cool to lead the “Required Reading” section in the Sunday New York Post a couple weeks ago!
In Other News
Congratulations to my literary agent, Howard (who I’ve featured here before). The mega-agency WME has acquired Howard and his business partner Gail’s boutique firm, Ross Yoon. After a rich history of representing hundreds of mostly non-fiction books, Howard and Gail are now WME agents. All of us clients remain repped by them, we’re just under the WME umbrella now.
The Council of Korean Americans, which is putting on Flawless’ big book event in DC with NPR, just hosted the first-ever outdoor Korean Movie Night in LA’s Grand Park, in the foreground of LA City Hall. We watched Parasite, the first and only non-English film to win the Best Picture Oscar, and ate Parasite’s signature dish, ram-don (chappaguri) with steak.
Upon re-watching, I was reminded of Bong Joon Ho’s singular talent, but also the ways the film influenced me during the Flawless proposal writing period. Those of you who have read the book know that among other things, Flawless interrogates neoliberalism, the economic philosophy that rules our America and Korea. So does Parasite, obviously. This thoughtful analysis of Parasite’s basement dweller, Geun-sae — who is the most “neoliberal man” in a system where we are all left to “make it” on our own — is my favorite Parasite think piece.
Related: There’s a K-beauty tie-in to Parasite, natch. Much has been written about the film’s incredible set design, especially the main house. In the set piece when the Kim family’s semi-basement home floods with sewage water during the climactic rainstorm, the actors all appear to be soaked with sewage, but to create that muddy looking water, what did the filmmakers do? They soaked thousands of clay sheet masks for the face!
Production designer Lee Ha-jun: “It looks like dirty water. It was very clean water for the actors. It had the face masks in the water, like mud face masks, very healthy and good for your skin.”
Fun fact, right?!?!
OK that’s it from here. Send good vibes for smooth travels and I really hope to see many of you in the coming days.