Younghill Kang

East Goes West
  • East Goes West

  • Having fled Japanese-occupied Korea for the gleaming promise of the United States with nothing but four dollars and a suitcase full of Shakespeare to his name, Chungpa Han arrives in New York. Struggling to support his studies, he travels throughout the United States and Canada, observing the idealism, greed and shifting values of the industrializing twentieth century.

Younghill Kang (1903-1972) was born in what is now North Korea and emigrated to the US in his late teens. While teaching English at New York University, he was introduced by fellow professor, Thomas Wolfe, to Scribner's editor Maxwell Perkins, who would publish Kang's books. Kang was the first Asian to be awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship.