Lee Jinna

Lee Jinna is a second-year student at the University of Chicago who was born and raised in Hong Kong. She started translating Dear Onyang into English during her first year of college in honor of her late grandmother and great-grandmother, who were both North Korean refugees rescued by US troops during the Heungnam evacuation. To Lee, Dear Onyang shows how an act of empathy, more than one of violence, is the most powerful act of heroism there is. She hopes that her English translation of Dear Onyang spreads this message to more people―not only to young Americans, but also to second-generation Koreans living abroad who struggle with their mother tongue.

Over the course of translating Dear Onyang, Lee received support and guidance from Professor David McCann, an Emeritus Professor of Korean Literature at Harvard University, Professor Na Won-kyung at the University of Chicago Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, her parents, and her older sister, Lee Yanna. She will be donating all her earnings from Dear Onyang to the Korean War Veterans Association.