Maija Rhee Devine

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum (ALPLM) Interviews of Maija Rhee Devine: an excerpt posted 8/2020

Mark DePue, military historian and director of Oral History Program at the ALPLM, posted a condensed version of Maija’s 10-plus hours of interviews conducted several years ago, which have been transcribed and archived on the Museum’s website (www.oralhistory.illinois.gov), into an “Oral History Spotlight” in August, 2020, and posted it on the Museum’s Facebook. The link is: https://www2.illinois.gov/alplm/museum/blog/Pages/blog110.aspx (It includes 10 audio clips.) Here’s the beginning story. The interviews include Maija’s stories as a child survivor of the Korean War, her post-war experiences through the secondary school and college years in Korea, her later immigrant life in America and her career as a writer. Illinois men and women dedicated their lives to the defense of democracy for South Korea by fighting during the Korean War and their stories are important part of the Oral History Project of the ALPLM. Maija feels honored to have been one of the interviewees and that her stories are preserved in the distinguished ALPLM. Deep gratitude goes to Mark DePue and outstanding staff.

E-news from the ALPLM (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum), Springfield, IL       ALPLM ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
A Childhood Surrounded by War   To say Maija Devine’s childhood was defined by war would be an understatement. She was born in Manchuria during World War II to Korean refugees fleeing a brutal occupation of their homeland by the Japanese.  Maija was soon given up for adoption and eventually returned to Korean, only to see her life upended yet again when North Korea invaded the south in 1950 and occupied Seoul where Maija’s family lived.  >>>>>Learn More about Maija’s life story, in her own words – a story also told in her award-winning novel The Voices of Heaven.     Maija Devine was born in 1943 as her parents fled Japanese-occupied Korea.   Maija met a young American Peace Corps volunteer named Michael Devine in 1970 and the two were soon married.   Maija wrote an award-winning novel based on her life: The Voices of Heaven. 
Posted on: September 13th, 2020 by Maija Rhee Devine
 

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