It’s every writer’s dream to publish a novel and then have Hollywood come knocking on the door, offering to turn it into a TV series. It may sound like a Cinderella story, but that’s what happened to Patricia Park – the author of Re Jane, a Korean American modern day version of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel Jane Eyre.
In this remake, Jane is a half-Korean, half American orphan growing up in Flushing Queens where people judge her because of her mixed heritage, or honyeol, race. Like her protagonist, the author also grew up in Flushing, her parents own a grocery store and she admits that there were some parallels between her upbringing and her character Jane’s life.
“Like Jane, I had a lot of eye opening experiences,” says Patricia Park in an interview with Asian American Life. “When you are born and raised in America, you have one way of thinking, and then when you are at home, it’s another way. Like Jane, I had many moments when I would misinterpret things.”
Park spent 10 years toiling over her novel – which was finally published in May 2016 and got rave reviews right out of the gate. The New York Times called it “a truly fresh, modern take on the coming-of-age novel.” Entertainment Weekly said it was “snappy and memorable.” But for Park, her coup de grace was when Daniel Dae Kim – of Hawaii 5-O and Lost and his own production company – told her he wanted to work with her to turn Re Jane into a television series.
Tune into Asian American Life for more on Re Jane and Patricia Park’s journey from unknown author to Hollywood newcomer.
This month on Asian American Life, we start off the year with a look at religion, politics, art and entertainment.
Paul Lin reports on the Filipino American’s response to President Rodrigo Duterte, also known as the Trump of the East. Kyung Yoon discusses the changing face of Christianity with Asian Americans. Ernabel Demillo interviews the cast of Disney’s Aladdin, the most popular musical on Broadway and gives viewers a guided tour of the Guggenheim’s newest exhibit, Tales of our Time featuring the work of young Chinese artists.
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