restricted access The Korean Voice of American Empire: The Democratic Spokesman and the Model Minority Narrator

This article reads the voice of Henry Park, the narrator of Chang-rae Lee’s Native Speaker, in relation to the oratorical voice of Syngman Rhee, the inaugural South Korean president. Both the model minority and the puppet president become unreliable when the prospect of Korean solidarity is at stake. For both Park and Rhee, an unreliable voice is racialized within the auspices of U.S.-Korean geopolitics, which deems Asian modernity the exception to human rights. Park’s voices challenges this geopolitical coding of “Asian.” In the context of narrative ethics, his narrative unreliability signifies not only stereotypical “Asian” inscrutability but also normative “human” fallibility.