Maija Rhee Devine

Lecture – ‘The Influence of Chinese Zodiac Beliefs On Asian Lives’

I gave this talk at Sky Way Library. The talk had been requested for me to give to the UMKC medical students by their medical professor Dr. Rose Zwerenzen. I gave the talk 3 times in 2015 and 2016 before moving to Seattle.  She  asked me again this year.

Posted on: April 5th, 2024 by Maija Rhee Devine

How a Belief in Chinese Zodiac Signs Affects People Especially Women

Here is a link to my story about the belief in Zodiac signs and how it affects women AND men and the business of fortune telling (you’ll find humor in the story!)

Click here to find The Korea Times story, fortunetelling



Posted on: October 18th, 2023 by admin

The Happiness Screen in Smithsonian’s Folk Life Magazine

The Happiness Screen
The Smithsonian #FolkLifeMagazine published a story of my mother and me in Korea and the U.S. based on the major stories told in my autobiographical novel about Korea, The Voices of Heaven. #JaneChu, an artist and former Chair of the #NationalEndowmentForTheArts (#NEA) prepared this story together with me. The wonderful illustrations are her artwork.
The photo: Maija with her mom’s folding screen, which she named “Happiness Screen.”
Find it on my Facebook page, too.
Posted on: October 18th, 2023 by dev01

“People of Distinction” Interview with Benji Cole (YouTube)

Maija was interviewed by CBS Radio’s Benji Cole, host of the program “People of Distinction,” on July 6, 2023.

This is an extremely important interview in which Maija discusses her 4-time award-winning autobiographical book, The Voices of Heaven, as well as what readers will be welcomed to in the book: about Koreans, their language (the closest to Hungarian), how much blood and guts they shed to maintain their nation and culture, and history distinct from China and Japan.

Posted on: July 26th, 2023 by Julie Myers

“People of Distinction” Interview with Benji Cole

Maija was interviewed by CBS Radio’s Benji Cole, host of the program “People of Distinction,” on July 6, 2023.


Posted on: July 21st, 2023 by Julie Myers

Korean ‘Comfort Women’ of WWII

Interview with international and educational video film producer, Armando F. Sanchez of the Armando F. Sanchez Productions International.

This is about the Korean ‘comfort women’ of WWII. In it, I read 3 poems about them (in Korean).


Posted on: July 18th, 2023 by Julie Myers

Maija Rhee Devine: Reading Two Poems & Describing Sijo

In this interview, hosted by Armando F. Sanchez, I read two poems. One is an environmental poem, “Chunks of Iceberg Clouds Miscarry.” The other is about clipping the poems published in the New Yorker Magazine and recycling them, “Recycling the New Yorker Poems.”


Posted on: July 18th, 2023 by Julie Myers

My Book, The Voices of Heaven, Reaches Young Generation

The Voices of Heaven, my autobiographical novel about growing up in Korea, a man’s love for two women (his wife and his second wife he lives with in the same house),  what they go through during the Korean War (1950-1953) and their post-war lives through 2005 is being read by social studies students in Korean International School in Seoul.  One of the 8th graders wrote an exceedingly intelligent and moving review of the book and posted it on Here is the link.  I also copy the review here.

(1) A review of The Voices of Heaven by an  8th grader at Korean International School, 11/18/21 on Goodreads website:

Hannah’s Reviews > The Voices of Heaven

Want to Read

Rate this book

1 of 5 stars2 of 5 stars3 of 5 stars4 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars

The Voices of Heaven

Maija Rhee Devine (Goodreads Author)


Hannah‘s review

Nov 18, 2021

it was amazing

bookshelves: school-read-8favorites

I thought that this book was beautifully written and carefully crafted in order to extract certain reactions and emotions from the reader especially in terms of connecting with each of the characters. I think that by alternating between the different perspectives of Soo-yang, Gui-young, Eum-chun and Mi-Na, it gives so much more depth to the story. Each character holds their own burdens and internal struggles as they try to uphold cultural traditions. I think it is admirable how the author refuses to take out or white wash any of the content and overall, it’s brutally honest and accurate on every event that occurred.

As a Korean-American growing up surrounded by western culture, concepts like boy-preference or historical events like the Korean War are things that are rather unfamiliar and untouched. But I think that after reading this book, I felt like I was starting to understand the pains and hardships of my parents, my grandparents, and the people who have come before me. I think especially with Mi-Na’s story, even though her struggles are not one that I have directly dealt with, the pressure to fulfill a parent’s expectations and be “good enough” is something that I can sympathize with and is something that is still so common regardless of how much our society has modernized and how much situations have changed. Even though we’re no longer in a war and many of us no longer have to worry about lack of food, we can still see the same themes in our society. I love how this book urges readers to make that connection between the problems in the book and the problems in the world of the readers.

I think that this book is a must-read for anyone regardless of their age or gender and I really enjoyed reading it.

1 like · Like ∙ flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Voices of Heaven.

Sign In »



Finished Reading

November 18, 2021 – Shelved

November 18, 2021 – Shelved as: school-read-8

November 23, 2021 – Shelved as: favorites


(2) All reviews of the VOH posted on Goodreads:

#thevoicesofheaven #patriarchsouthkorea #genderinequality #sonpreference #glassceilingindex #sexratioatbirth #populationimbalance #yinandyang #chinesezodiacsigns #fengshui #koreanproverbs #koreanlanguage #hangul #thekoreanwar #syngmanrhee #harrystruman #genmacarthur #armistic #chineseinkoreanwar

Posted on: December 5th, 2021 by Maija Rhee Devine

Learn Korean Through K-Drama, Book 1 and 2

Want to learn Korean the fun way? Learn it by watching K-drama on YouTube and Netflix!
The books, Learn Korean Through K-Drama, vol. 1 and 2, provide at the beginning of each chapter a direct link to scenes of the most-watched, top-ranked K-dramas on YouTube and Netflix, like “Crash Landing On You,” “Itaewon Class,” and “My Mister.” The books also provide ample language exercises and discussions of Korean life, society, and issues that are directly related to the dialogues (in English and Korean) from the drama scenes. Hot social issues are the themes of the Learn Korean Through K-Drama, Book 2.
Seoul Selection, the publisher of my autobiographical book about Korea, The Voices of Heaven (my TEDx Talk about it:, plans to publish Book 3 of the Learn Korean Though K-Drama by early next year.
More from Seoul Selection:
Subtitled “A Glance at Issues in Korean Society,” this second book features K-drama shows that offer an in-depth view of the various issues in Korean society. Included dramas in this book (series 2) are It’s Okay Not to Be Okay (싸이코지만 괜찮아), Itaewon Class (이태원 클라쓰), My Mister (나의 아저씨) , SKY Castle (SKY캐슬), and Misaeng: Incomplete Life (미생). We hope that they provide curious readers a deeper understanding of life in Korea.
Through the scenes, readers will be able to ruminate on topics relevant not only to Koreans but to everyone living in contemporary society. Among the issues are mental health, social exclusion, non-regular employment, education, and ethics.
This book is unique in that each script comes with QR codes and Netflix timestamps that provide direct links to corresponding YouTube videos and Netflix scenes, allowing readers to access the clips at any time and understand the language content while watching and listening to it on screen.
For more details, please refer to the following press release and other info.
For purchase
(Currently Series 2 is available only in Seoul Selection Bookshop:
Look Inside (미리보기), Learn Korean Through K-Dramas 2
Look Inside (미리보기), Learn Korean Through K-Dramas 1
Hank Kim,
Seoul Selection
Translation | Publishing | Design | SEOUL Magazine
Maija Rhee Devine’s Facebook posts of the news of these books:


Posted on: December 5th, 2021 by Maija Rhee Devine

My TEDx Talk on My Book, The Voices of Heaven, in Korean International School (KIS) School Curriculum

My Tedx Talk Introduced to Korean International School (KIS) Social Studies Classes

My Tedx Talk (, in which I discussed how the stories I told in my autobiographical novel, The Voices Heaven, relate to the social injustice issues originating from patriarchal values in Korea and how they STILL maintain dominance over today’s technologically- and economically- transformed, powerful Korea, is being introduced to the students of social studies classes at Korean International School (KIS) in Pangyo, Seoul, this year.

KIS is adhering to Nelson Mandela’s words: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

The attached are lesson plans for discussions of social injustice issues in South Korea, based on the points dealt with in Maija’s TEDx Talk, that have been developed and are in use at KIS. Teachers, librarians, counselors, and so forth, who are working hard on raising the awareness of social justice/injustice issues in Korea and elsewhere are welcome to use these teaching materials in their schools or organizations. The materials can be useful in teaching comparative/world literature classes, as an English literature teacher at Fort Collins High School made use of some years ago, when I gave a book talk.

#genderinequality #sexratioatbirth #SRB #patriarchySouthKorea #genderbasedsalaryinequalilty #KoreaInternationalSchoolSeoul #KoreaInternationalSchoolKorea #NelsonMandela

Maija Devine TED Talk with link

Posted on: November 6th, 2021 by Maija Rhee Devine

Copyright © 2013 - 2014 Maija Rhee Devine. All Rights Reserved.

Website by PrefX