“Head Study”is a philosophical memoir about the impulse towards the creative life, and the self-experimentation, spiritual evolution and philosophical dialectic accompanying the actualization of one such life. The book chronicles the journey of a first-generation Asian-American immigrant from a spectacularly unsuccessful, entrepreneurial family in Texas, to the hallowed halls of the Ivy League, into the famed corridors of McLean Psychiatric Hospital and finally to New York City where the protagonist, now a divorcée, builds an artistic career and a life of independence.
With a unique frame structure, the memoir is divided into eleven chapters, each beginning with a step in the painting of a head study— an alla prima portrait from life— which segues and connects to a significant action the protagonist took in trying to identify and then realize her life goal at that moment. For answers, she is ever risk-unaverse and omnivorously experimental, looking first to the consolations of the quiet life of the mind; then to her Korean roots; to the study of law and philosophy; to marriage with a good man and the social protection of bourgeois accoutrement; and also the life-saving relief held out by psychiatry after a serious diagnosis. This book is one woman’s self-directed problem-solving mission to bring into focus who she truly is among the hazy brush-work and lines of attempt and to paint her own head study.
As of spring 2018, my manuscript, “Head Study,” is in its final revision stages. I will begin looking for an agent in 2019.