I purchased the book Pieces of You by Daniel Armand Lee(aka Tablo). I polished off picking up handy phrases and expressions from every study-aid book around me, so thought it was high time I broadened my horizon with novels. Besides, before I would work on refining my writing style, I needed a yardstick; that would be icing on the cake if by my FAVORITE writers. And Daniel Lee was one of them.
Interestingly, they published it as hardcovers unlike its Korean paperbacks. It was a great idea to make them deluxe, wrapping the design almost all in black and white colors; the cover is black and white, the artwork black and white, the bookmark black, the blurbs white, and so forth; except for the dark brown flyleaves, and the title "Pieces of You" coated in glitteing copper red(though it looks like gold in the image above. A funny trick of scanners). I bought a limited edition whose left flyleaf carries Lee's autographed message. It reads:
My heart was closed. Cold.
My heart was self-conscious and cynical.
These are the pieces of my youth,
the small secrets and the not-so-great expectations
that defined my coming of age.
But through this craft, through my love for writing,
I discovered the world outside of the small windowless one I had built for myself.
A world of softspoken beauty.
So here I am,
choosing to kick away the ladder
so that I may remain at your side.
I understand your solitude.
I see your shadow.
2009. Feb. Tablo
I became round-eyed when I saw his handwriting three times neater in English than in Korean; Of course I didn't expect his parents to be zealous in teaching their son his identity, but still I'm puzzled at the uncanny contrast.
On the Korean edition, I've already pointed out Lee's self-consciousness that was licked all over the lines, like transparent paint; it was the same in English, or it was more than it, as far as my once-over was concerned. The book underwent no special changes or corrections from Lee's own draft, first named Andante(also the title of this book's first piece) as a collecton of his college assignments. The only differences were the scrupulous artworks inside, and the change of font into Serif, from the draft's Arial. Anyway, I believe this "originality" will help its readers meet rather easily his pieces of intricate sentiments, or even rather vivid pieces of him, than Koren editions would do.
As a footnote, The book design resembles those of most American books. Its language is mostly English excluding the copyright page and the book ads on the right flap, both in Korean. Just acceptable, I think, except a couple of typos(there were five or so) that interrupted my perusal at times.