Imagine your daughter was adopted overseas when she was very young for unavoidable reasons. It is horrible even if it is just an imagination, but it is a reality to some people. Maja Lee Langvad’s “She’s Angry” is a story about such a daughter.
Born to Korean parents and adopted by Danish parents, Langvard became a poet and wrote a book titled ‘She is Angry,’ where she poured out what she saw, heard, felt, and thought. In this book with a rather unconventional title, Langvard expresses anger about a reality where children are treated as goods. “She is angry about being an import. She is angry about being an export. She is angry that adoption agencies in sending and receiving countries make money off transnational adoption.” From the beginning to the end, the author repeats the phrase “She is angry” over 1,500 times.
She tells uncomfortable truths, sometimes in fiery and cool tones. “Putting a child up for adoption is equivalent to having his or her child kidnapped,” Langvard quotes, infuriated by a reality in Korea where children are still adopted overseas. She is furious about a reality where children born from single mothers are mostly sent away for adoption. While the author is angry about her parents who had her adopted, but also about the fact that her mother, deeply scarred by having had to send her daughter away, could not have a chance to receive psychotherapy. She has anger towards herself for having decided to let off her pent-up anger not until she was near death. Her writing is, after all, for her healing.
Poet Kim Hye-soon suggests that we should “bind our hands and feet to the ship’s mast” and listen to the sounds of fury, frustration, and anger as though they are the “voice of the Sirens.” Like the Odyssey on his way home after the war, who dared to listen to the song of the Sirens, Kim says we should listen to the truth. She asserts that we should not ignore the suffering and pain of our daughters, who we gave birth to but sent away or sold for adoption.