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The Scarlet & Black

Nami Mun shares writing process

Photo+by+Misha+Gelnarova
Photo by Misha Gelnarova
Photo by Misha Gelnarova
Photo by Misha Gelnarova

Korean American novelist and short story writer Nami Mun visited Grinnell College last Thursday, Feb. 19. Mun gave a talk to students and read some of her newest work. In a talk with students, Mun answered questions about her first novel, “Miles from Nowhere,” which tells the story of a thirteen-year-old Korean immigrant who runs away from home after her family collapses in the wake of her father’s infidelity.

In the talk, Mun discussed topics including her writing process. “I do not waste time in showers doing stupid things, after all [that] is where the best ideas come … I get inspired by my own emotional reaction to life … writing helps me discover why I felt a specific emotion at a specific time,” Mun said. “I write for an ideal reader, I mean you cannot make everyone happy and, still, write the story only you … can write.”

In a roundtable discussion, Mun shared stories about her time as a runaway teen and how she developed a fascination with boxing after her first time seeing a boxing match on television.

“All I could think was, ‘Who wakes up one day and decides: I want to punch a man in the face, be punched by a man in the face and be paid for it,’” Mun said.

After the talk, some students shared their thoughts about the roundtable discussion.

“I thought she was very relatable, responded very eloquently to all of the questions about her creative process. I thought it was very helpful in learning how a professional author works,” said Matt Dole ’16.

“It was refreshing to hear an author speak so candidly, she gave good advice to students and future promising writers,” said Geo Gomez ’15. “The conversation in the room was very fruitful, it was nice to see that people engaged with the novel and came with specific questions.”

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