In this classic tale, Richard Kim paints seven vivid scenes from a boyhood and early adolescence in Korea at the height of the Japanese occupation, 1932 to 1945. Taking its title from the grim fact that the occupiers forced the Koreans to renounce their own names and adopt Japanese names instead, the book follows one Korean family through the Japanese occupation to the surrender of the Japanese empire. Lost Names is at once a loving memory of family and a vivid portrayal of life in a time of anguish.
Lost Names is not a poem of hate, but a poem of love. . . .It is elegaic. It rises to moments of considerable dramatic power, but its finest moments, as when we see the cemeteries full of Koreans apologizing to their ancesotrs for having lost their names, are lyrical.