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Cheong No-Won by Charles Coiro

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Cheong No-Won by Charles Coiro
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The story of a child born in China just before the outbreak of Japanese/China war in 1937 to homeless, alcoholic mother in an alley. The boy survives with uncommon intelligence and wit and achieves great accomplishments but still retains the mark of his lowly birth and his lack of culture by a young woman who reminds him constantly of his lack of sophistication and slum manners. No-Won overcomes all obstacles and becomes a man of business and politics.


Cheong No-Won was born inconspicuously in some debris -strewn alley in Jiangxi by a woman who was rarely aware of what was going on around her.  The father, also an alcoholic had acted instinctively when he saw a woman who seemed agreeable to his advances; impregnated her with both parties probably not knowing what had taken place.  When the child was born, some dim primordial instinct, momentarily awakened without her knowing it; made her cut the child’s umbilical cord, fold it back upon itself and with some piece of string, tie it closed.  That same instinct made her give suck to the hungry mouth waiting to be fed.  After the woman had fallen asleep, the child, sparsely covered and almost patiently waiting to be fed again.  It seems that the finger of fate was upon him  since the  time of the year was mid July and the hot night made the need for clothing almost unnecessary. He was called No-Won. Fortunately, No-Won’s mother was snoring in her sleep on her back. The small, although functioning breasts were exposed with the child at her side.  An elderly woman, also in the  alley, heard the child cry and went to investigate. Seeing the mother in a stupor of drunkenness, she placed the child’s mouth on the teat and waited until it started suckling. In that way, the life of No-Won began.

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