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Ann Y. K. Choi

Ann Y. K. Choi (Ann Yu-Kyung Choi) is a Toronto-based author and educator who immigrated to Canada from South Korea in 1975. She studied English, sociology and education at the University of Toronto and completed an MFA in Creative Writing at National University in San Diego, California. Choi is also a graduate of the Humber School for Writers in Toronto and the Creative Writing Certificate Program at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies.
Kay's Lucky Coin Variety book cover


Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety

Toronto: Simon and Schuster Canada, 2016.
PS8605 .H62 K39 2016

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

A bittersweet coming-of-age debut novel set in the Korean community in Toronto in the 1980s.

This haunting coming-of-age story, told through the eyes of a rebellious young girl, vividly captures the struggles of families caught between two cultures in the 1980s. Family secrets, a lost sister, forbidden loves, domestic assaults—Mary discovers as she grows up that life is much more complicated than she had ever imagined. Her secret passion for her English teacher is filled with problems and with the arrival of a promising Korean suitor, Joon-Ho, events escalate in ways that she could never have imagined, catching the entire family in a web of deceit and violence.

Awards and Honours

2016 Toronto Book Awards (Finalist)
2017 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize–Literary Fiction (Finalist)

Fiction (Juvenile, Picture book)

Once Upon an Hour

Illustrated by Soyeon Kim.
Vancouver: Orca Book Publishers, 2020.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Yu-Rhee, a young Korean girl, wants to know how to tell time using a clock. Her mother tells her a tale from her childhood based on the traditional Korean practice of timekeeping, where the 12 animals of the zodiac are assigned to 2-hour sections of the 24-hour clock. Told from the point of view of a mountain, the story follows a child as they climb the mountainside in search of a plant to heal their ailing mother. The climb is steep, the path wild and the way difficult. The mountain watches the child struggle and calls on the animals that live on the mountainside to help the child, but as sunlight turns to moonlight, each animal claims to be too busy. Ultimately, Once Upon an Hour is a story about determination and teamwork that shows young readers the importance of helping others.


Ann Y. K. Choi personal website

Publisher Orca Book Publishers

Publisher Simon and Schuster Canada