Review: Eating Kimchi and Nodding Politely by Alex Clermont

on Jun 1, 2012
Eating Kimchi and Nodding Politely: Stories about Love, Life, Death and Discovery from an American in South Korea

Genre: Nonfiction

Rating 5/5 Stars

SynopsisImagine leaving behind everybody and everything familiar to live in a foreign country where you don't speak the language and don't know a soul. Worst yet, you look different from everybody there. People find your cultural norms insulting, and you can't get a date to save your life.

Imagine you wrote a book about your time there...

Eating Kimchi and Nodding Politely is a collection of snapshots that cover the two years that Alex Clermont lived in the country of South Korea as an English teacher. Scribed with a flair for humor, emotion, character and depth, these introspective narratives do more than act as a travel guide. They are creatively written windows into the life of of someone discovering new things about himself, the world, and the people who he shares it with- all while stuffing his mouth with kimchi.

Let me just start by saying that I read this in one day, seriously it was that good. I think one of the biggest compliments you can give an author is to say that their book was so good that you couldn't put it down.

This is a collection of narratives based on Alex's time teaching English in South Korea. I don't usually read nonfiction but I'm glad that I made this exception. The stories are honest and interesting, they follow a daily life that's full of new places and colorful people. The book contains seventeen different stories. Some of the them are happy, some are sad, and some just make you laugh out loud.

This was a pleasure to read. :)

About the Author:
Alex Clermont is a writer born and raised in New York City. He has a BA in English creative writing from Hunter College and has been an English teacher for the past several years. Visit


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