Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom has quietly conveyed the maddening, meandering path that a transracial, immigrant adoptee must take in order to discover her own history. She detangles lies, bureaucracy, and the unwillingness of others, even as she unravels questions of her own identity: what does it mean to be a mother? To be Swedish? To be Korean? As an American child of Korean immigrants, I found familiarity in her search for solid footing within herself, amid complicated notions of race, cultural heritage, and nationality, and I was devastated to learn hard truths about international adoption and the adoptee experience within the Korean diaspora. Palimpsest is an honest, and sometimes painful, record of Sjöblom’s experience, as well as an important document and guide for others in search of their own story.

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