You Can Never Go Back

The promise of reentry is a dangerous lie

Author’s photo of Seoul Airport, immigrating from Korea to Canada, 1975. My parents were dressed up for the long trans Pacific flight. That’s me in the middle.

“You thinking I’m the liar?” my mother asked me as she showed me around her childhood home in Pangyo, South Korea on a hot and sticky July afternoon.

“Somehow it shrinking!” she marveled, scanning the site where she grew up with her parents, seven siblings, and the many cousins and friends who would come to stay for weeks and…