In early 2006, Beth Ann and her husband Dale quit their jobs in Canada and headed east, or maybe it was west, to teach English as a second language in South Korea. Their destination, Hwagae, was a place they couldn’t even locate on a map. Soon they would find themselves in a charming village dotted with tea plantations and rice paddies, nestled in Korea’s mountainous Jirisan National Park. With no other foreign teachers for miles and no knowledge of Korean customs or culture, Beth Ann and Dale began a year of miscommunication, adventure, frustration, and growth.
The Kimchi Experiment is Beth Ann’s creatively written non-fictional tale of the two newlywed Canadians as they test their bond and their fortitude in the South Korean rural farming community. From the principal who claims not to be a drunkard, to awkward naked encounters in the local bath house, The Kimchi Experiment will leave you laughing out loud.
A story from this book won the H.R. (Bill) Percy Short Creative Non-Fiction prize in 2020, and was described by the jury as “a warm, well-paced, and beautifully crafted reflection on cultural risk and reward. The piece takes readers on a memorable journey.”
Paperback 264 pages
Beth Ann Knowles is a Nova Scotia teacher from the South Shore of Nova Scotia who has taught in South Korea. She is the second place winner of the Pottersfield Prize for Creative Nonfiction.