Welcome to the Book Marks Questionnaire, where we ask authors questions about the books that have shaped them.
This week, we spoke to Angie Kim, whose novel Miracle Creek recently won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel.
Book Marks: First book you remember loving?
Angie Kim: A Korean translation of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories. I loved “The Black Cat”; there was a beautiful black cat that lived in my neighborhood in Seoul, and I was convinced that it was a reincarnation of Poe’s (fictional) cat! (I was 8.)
BM: Favorite re-read?
AK: Ling Ma’s Severance. I first read it last year, but I’ve re-read it twice since the pandemic lockdown began. It scares the shit out of me.
BM: What book do you think your book is most in conversation with?
AK: Probably Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River, if only because I keep writing and talking about how much that book influenced my writing of Miracle Creek, particularly the structure.
BM: A book that blew your mind?
AK: Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad. It’s a literary Pulp Fiction, a movie that blew my mind. Also, I can’t believe she wrote a whole chapter in Powerpoint!
BM: Last book you read?
BM: What book from the past year would you like to give a shout-out to?
AK: Cathleen Schine’s The Grammarians. It’s a must-read for writers and anyone obsessed with words and language.
BM: A book that actually made you laugh out loud?
AK: Kevin Wilson’s Nothing to See Here. Just thinking about that book makes me laugh.
BM: Favorite book to give as a gift?
AK: Steph Cha’s Your House Will Pay, a novel based on the 1991 murder of an African-American teenage girl by a Korean immigrant grocer in LA. Powerful and important.
BM: Book(s) you’re reading right now?
AK: Anna Solomon’s The Book of V, which is coming out in a few weeks!
BM: Favorite children’s book?
AK: Does the Harry Potter series count? If so, the Harry Potter series! The only books that all three of my kids and I have loved and re-read multiple times, on our own and together.
BM: Book you wish would be adapted for a film/tv show?
AK: Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.
Angie Kim is the author of the national bestseller Miracle Creek, named a “Best Book of the Year” by TIME, The Washington Post, Kirkus, Real Simple, Library Journal, The Today Show, Amazon, and Hudson Booksellers, and a Good Morning America Hot Summer Read. Kim is one of Variety Magazine’s “10 Storytellers to Watch,” and has written for Vogue, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Salon, and Slate. She moved from Seoul, Korea, to Baltimore as a preteen, and attended Stanford University and Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. A former trial lawyer, she now lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and three sons, and is at work on her next novel.
Angie Kim’s Miracle Creek is out now in paperback from Picador