Jindo is a novel that incorporates drawings, photos, symbols, and comic panels in collaboration with visual artists, Minna Moon and Myungee Jo. In addition to the drawings, the novel integrates Korean folktales and family mythology into the narrative. The hybrid work also weaves elements of speculative fiction, fantasy, realism, horror, and comedy game theory. The novel is told in the first person voice of Korean American, Jindo Cho. In the wake of a nationally televised humiliation, Jindo Cho leaves the world of competitive figure skating to attend state college. When, at the beginning of the semester, his childhood best friend abandons him to join a whites-only fraternity, Delta Kappa, Jindo is left to fend for himself in a surprisingly racist campus. At a party he isn't invited to, Jindo rebels against his past, present, and future, and consumes an unnamed psychedelic compound. After ingesting the unknown compound, he gets thrown into a terrifying trip that he does not remember. Once the trip ends, Jindo relapses in strange ways. Visions show him scenes from the past, present, future, and "other places" as he fights to reconcile reality and meaning in the universe. The novel focuses on how Jindo comes to terms with his past, his dreams, and a traumatic memory he can't quite grasp, all the while exploring the genre of the novel itself, how novels may think, breathe, and evolve in form, and how an experiment in form itself can expose the pressures a character struggles against, in Jindo's case, racial stereotypes, gender norms, and the toxic expectations of a masculinity that encourages detachment and violence. This novel seeks to dismantle stereotypes while also providing readers a wildly entertaining time.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Jo, Iljeen, "Jindo" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5887.