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Autobiographical Elements in Richard E. Kim’s NovelsKim, Wook-Dong This article attempts to explore some autobiographical elements in the three novels written by Richard E. Kim: The Martyred (1964), The Innocent (1968), and Lost Names (1970). A diaspora writer, Kim finds his subject matter in the major historical events of Korea. In his first internationally acclaimed novel, Kim draws much on some incidents in his own personal and family history; its protagonist the Reverend Shin, for example, is modelled on his maternal grandfather, the Reverend Hak Bong Lee, who were not only persecuted but also executed by the North Korean Communists. Kim’s active involvement with the Korean Army as a liaison officer during the Korean War, as well as the military coup detat led by General Park in 1961, provide material for his second novel. In the third novel, Kim borrows the characters, incidents and settings not only from his family history but Korean history as well. His own childhood experiences under the Japanese colonial occupation and the strong nationalist sentiments of his father, play a pivotal role in the third and last novel. At his best, however, Kim explores universal themes that are far beyond geographical as well as temporal limitations.