March 23, 2023

Washington, D.C. (PRWEB – May 24, 2010) – The Asian Division of the Library of Congress has selected White Pearl & I: A Memoir of a Political Refugee by Svetlana Kim for the second annual Asian American Heritage month commemoration. In 2009, Svetlana Kim took the stage to deliver an inspiring keynote address at the first annual celebration. Using White Pearl’s wisdom she told her audience, “We faced every situation with faith, hope, and love.”

White Pearl and I: A Memoir of a Political Refugee, focuses on Soviet-Koreans, who have been referred to as “Asian Jews.” Joseph Stalin ordered the deportation of nearly 200,000 Koreans, young and old, from their homes in the Far East of Russia to Central Asia in the fall of 1937. He was preparing for World War II and feared that Koreans living in Russia would spy for the Japanese Army. He termed these Soviet-Koreans “unreliable people.” Several thousand perished along the 3,700 mile trek to Asia.

This story of 200,000 Koreans who became political pawns during the Great Terror is new to Americans and others around the world. The details of their deportation were banned by the Soviet government for many years. Scholars have only had access to the historic records in the last decade. I am one of the first documented Soviet-Korean refugees to come to America and my book is likely the first book, written as a memoir, about Soviet-Koreans.

A powerful testament to her grandmother, White Pearl, in the struggle of exile and adaptation in a foreign land speaks to the struggle; not only of Asian Americans but of all in pursuit of the values that we hold true as Americans. Kim never gives up hope, sustained by White Pearl’s example. She moves from cleaning houses to selling cosmetics to eventually fundraising for Hillary Clinton, rubbing elbows with some of the most prominent and respected people in America. Her story personifies the American dream: It is the story of an immigrant searching for and finding human kindness in a foreign country, determining her own destiny, and finding success along the way.

In 2008, Kim became an Asian Academy Hall of Fame inductee. She shares this acclaimed honor with Norman Mineta, the former Secretary of Transportation, and with the nation’s 24th Secretary of Labor, Elaine L. Chao. Having left the communist world behind, Kim has fully embraced the freedoms of the American political and social system.

“It requires more than soaring prose writing to produce a wonder such as White Pearl & I. Svetlana Kim and her book are one and the same. The passion, willpower, resilience, humor and abiding faith expressed on the pages are the same qualities found in Ms. Kim. Here is a book to remind us all of the powerful call of America across the oceans and to be better people and not take all that we have for granted. I’m a better person because of fellow writer Svetlana Kim.” Commented Ron Powers, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

Today, she is a leader among her peers in the business world, and has been honored with numerous awards citing her commitment, skill, and integrity. In February 2010, Orphan International Worldwide honored her with its Global Citizenship Award for her work towards saving the lives of children in Haiti.

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