October 17 2019

New book explores Korean life in Queens

by Ryan Brady, Editor

Dorothy Hong got to know Queens from doing pro bono legal work with the MinKwon Center for Community Action in Flushing over the years. And in her new self-published book, “Queens County Koreans in NYC,” she writes all about her native land’s diaspora in the borough.

“So I have seen how the neighborhood changed,” she told the Chronicle, adding, “I felt like it’s about time that someone wrote about this.”

Released on Amazon in August, the book focuses heavily on northeast Queens, the borough’s main population center for East Asians.

Parts of it are about the economy of Flushing and Bayside and milestones for the Korean community in Queens. Hong examines many different aspects of the Korean-American experience here.

The book features many citations from borough media outlets, including one from the Queens Chronicle.

While it’s focused on the borough, “Queens County Koreans in NYC” also features information about the Korean- and Asian-American populations throughout the entire country.

Hong, who emigrated from South Korea, disagrees with those who dismiss ethnic studies as a discipline that concentrates excessively on racism, saying that “people should be cognizant” of such issues.

Queens was the first part of the United States that she ever walked in, landing with her parents at JFK Airport as a 10-year-old girl.

They moved to the Bronx. As a teen, she attended that borough’s elite High School of Science, one of the city’s specialized high schools.

She went on to attend Cornell University, where she studied chemistry and Japanese Area Studies. After that, Hong went to University of Pennsylvania Law School. She ultimately worked for about a year at a law firm on Pine Street in Lower Manhattan before deciding to take up writing full-time.

Hong lives in Westchester County today.

Her other books include “Koreatown, New York, New York,” “Palisades Park, New Jersey and Koreans There,” and “South Korea, Emerged from Dust.”

Hong’s artwork has been featured at the the Grand Central Library in Manhattan, the White Plains and Bronxville public libraries, Northern Westchester Hospital, the Upstream Gallery in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY and other venues.