Search - List of Books by Leonard Chang
Leonard Chang is a Korean American writer of short stories and novels.
Total Books: 12
His short stories have appeared in a variety of literary journals including The Crescent Review, The Literary Review, and Prairie Schooner. His first novel was The Fruit 'N Food (1996), winner of the Black Heron Press Award for Social Fiction, a story about a loner who finds employment in a New York grocery; major themes involve race relations and violence. His other novels include Dispatches from the Cold (1998), and Over The Shoulder (2001), a mystery/noir, the first in a trilogy about his Korean American private-eye protagonist, Allen Choice. Other novels in that trilogy are: Underkill (2003) and Fade To Clear (2004).
Chang's work is unusual in the canon of Asian American literature because of the level of assimilation many of his Korean American characters have achieved. His characters tend to be second generation Americans, often with few ties to their ethnic origins. His later works deal less with race relations than with character-driven issues, such as with Allen Choice, whose name ("Choice" changed from the Korean "Choi" by his father) denotes the shift in ethnic identity and themes.
Chang's experiments in crime fiction is related to this shift, since the stories revolve around solving a mystery or crime, and despite the fact that the protagonist is Korean American, the debt here is more to crime and noir writers like Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and Ross Macdonald.
Chang's work is constantly maturing and developing, and what seems to differentiate his work from others of his generation is his singular focus on detailing the Korean American experience as distinctly American. His latest novel, entitled Crossings, published in 2009, brings together many of the themes and issues of his previous work, and centers around a love story between recent Korean immigrants, while tackling the harsh circumstances of illegal immigration and human trafficking.