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The Evening Hero

Marie Myung-Ok Lee

The Evening Hero

Dr. Yungman Kwak is in the twilight of his life. Every day for the last fifty years, he has brushed his teeth, slipped on his shoes, and headed to Horse Breath's General Hospital, where, as an obstetrician, he treats the women and babies of the small rural Minnesota town he chose to call home.
This was the life he longed for. The so-called American dream. He immigrated from Korea after the Korean War, forced to leave his family, ancestors, village, and all that he knew behind. But his life is built on a lie. And one day, a letter arrives that threatens to expose it.
Yungman's life is thrown into chaos--the hospital abruptly closes, his wife refuses to spend time with him, and his son is busy investing in a struggling health start-up. Yungman faces a choice--he must choose to hide his secret from his family and friends or confess and potentially lose all he's built. He begins to question the very assumptions on which his life is built--the so-called American dream, with the abject failure of its healthcare system, patient and neighbors who perpetuate racism, a town flawed with infrastructure, and a history that doesn't see him in it.

Humorous, Literary Fiction, Coming of Age