Christine Hyung-Oak Lee

Author of
  • The Golem of Seoul
    Harper Collins
  • Tell Me Everything You Don't Remember
    Harper Collins (coming 02/2017)

Christine Hyung-Oak Lee’s novel-in-progress, The Golem of Seoul, and memoir, Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember, are both forthcoming from Ecco Press/Harper Collins. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in journals and anthologies such as ZYZZYVA, Guernica, The Rumpus, Hyphen Magazine, BuzzFeed, and Men Undressed.

Born in New York City, Christine earned her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley and her MFA at Mills College. She has been awarded a residency at Hedgebrook, and her pieces have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and placed in competitions such as the Poets and Writers’ Magazine Writers Exchange Contest, Glimmer Train Fiction Open, and others. She is the Fiction Editor at Kartika Review.

Books by Christine Hyung-Oak

The Golem of Seoul

The Golem of Seoul, which follows two Korean immigrants in 1970s New York City in search of a lost relative who, while struggling to make sense of the strange land they now find themselves in, take a cue from a classic piece of Jewish mythology they come across in the great cultural mosaic of New York and make a golem from Korean soil that they have brought with them. A deeply imaginative cross-cultural fusion and retelling of a classic story, The Golem of Seoul promises to be one of the most original and unique novels seen in recent years.

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Tell Me Everything You Don't Remember

Exploring the territory that Lee’s Buzzfeed News article “I Had A Stroke At 33” — which attracted over 300,000 views within 36 hours of publication — first charted out, Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember addresses in a powerful, viscerally affecting and distinctive voice the difficult but inevitable questions prompted by an unexpected trauma like a stroke, questions of mortality, infirmity, loss, identity and creativity and, in so doing, renders a vivid portrait both of a life torn into two and her struggle, often halting and frustrated by events beyond her control, to once more reconcile them.

Praise for Tell Me Everything You Don't Remember

Honest and direct, this memoir of surviving a life-changing stroke at thirty-three is told with gripping immediacy. Lee knows that "though my stroke happened in the past, it is my world today." Yet she never allows herself or her readers to be stuck in the mire of illness. A brave, encouraging, genuine work of healing discovery that shows us the ordinary, daily effort it takes to make a shattered self cohere.

Floyd Skloot, author of In the Shadow of Memory

The stuff of poetry and of nightmares… [Lee] investigates her broken brain with the help of a journal, beautifully capturing the helplessness, frustration, and comic absurdity (yes, a book about a stroke can be funny!) of navigating life after your world has been torn apart.

Susannah Cahalan, author of Brain on Fire

Lee excavates her life with the care of an archeologist in this stunning memoir...Her account is lyrical, honest, darkly comic, surprising, and transcendent in the way it redefines the importance of family history, memory, and what of it we choose to hold with us. A beautiful book.

Christa Parravani, author of Her: A Memoir

A searing memoir buoyed by hope.


This honest and meditative memoir is the story about how Hyung-Oak Lee rebuilt her life, quite literally one step at a time, and how she discovered the person she had always wanted to become.


Honest and insightful.

New York Times Book Review

Emotionally explicit and intensely circumspect... . With careful thought and new understanding, the author explores the enduring mind-body connection with herself at the nexus of it all. A fascinating exploration of personal identity from a writer whose body is, thankfully, ‘no longer at war.'


Fearless... [Lee’s] engaging memoir...makes a difficult topic accessible and relatable. Lee expertly explains how the brain works and how even a damaged brain can adapt. Her narrative is both scientific and emotional, revealing the wonders of biology and the power of the human spirit.

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