Eating Kimchi and Nodding Politely by Alex Clermont

“Eating Kimchi and Nodding Politely”

You Me and the Rest of Us: #NewYorkStories

ISBN 978-0-9973850-5-2
ISBN 978-0-9973850-4-5


Imagine leaving behind everybody and everything familiar to live in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language and don’t know a soul.

Imagine you wrote a book about your time there…

Eating Kimchi and Nodding Politely is a collection of snapshots that cover the two years of an English teacher living in South Korea. Written with a flair for humor, emotion, character and depth, these introspective narratives are not a travel guide. They are creatively written windows into the life of someone discovering new things about himself, the world, and the people who he shares it with—all while stuffing his mouth with kimchi.

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From The Author

This collection took me two years to write. I went through a lot while living abroad, but I wrote this collection with a selective eye for experiences that could translate well in any country. Themes like love, life, death and discovery flow in and out of all of our lives. I’m just hoping you read these stories and get from it not just a smile from some clever phrasing, or a few chuckles (yeah those are there too) but a sense of intimacy with the things that we all share.


“Yes, the collection is a window into a culture Americans know little about, but the universality of the topics serves to illustrate one of Mr. Clermont’s most simplistically perfect lessons—“life is easily translatable.” That these lessons took place in South Korea is immaterial. That these lessons could take place anywhere is what makes for profound writing.”
– Jenah, from The Indie Book Blog

“In those first few pages I was pulled in by the writer’s honest depiction of experiences that all brought memories of my own flooding back to mind. I put on some music, poured a drink, and got comfortable”
– Steven D. Ward, customer reviewer

“Using well-chosen slices-of-life, Clermont creates a vivid account of his two years overseas. His collection is funny, moving, and very memorable.”
– Leigh T. Moore, Former Editor at Baldwin County Living magazine

“… The mostly autobiographical tales are a vivid reminder of what it’s like to arrive in Korea and know almost nothing… While some [of the stories] were written when the author first arrived, the stories themselves are timeless.”
– Chris Backe, writer for

“The stories are honest and interesting. They follow a daily life that’s full of new places and colorful people. Some of the [stories] are sad, some are funny, and some just make you laugh out loud.”
– N. M. Bronson,

“‘Eating Kimchi And Nodding Politely’ is an entertaining account of an American traveling abroad from his own country, with all the idiosyncrasies that might entail.”
– Red Haircrow, Flying With Red Haircrow

“What a delightful book! I wished it could have gone on and on. A look at a foreign country, South Korea, that made me feel I had been there… It is a great book and I feel this man will become an author of many more.”
– Jean Brickell for Readers Favorite

“As a man of color I related to his gumption and his observations about discovering this foreign territory. Truly something I will come back to when I need some inspiration.”
– Martin Berrios for Flawless Crowns

“An excellent read, both for its insights into life in Korea and how it shines a light on the human condition in general.”
– Big Al’s Books and Pals


*Video by Raoul Dyssell

4 Responses to ““Eating Kimchi and Nodding Politely””
  1. Let us know when it comes out, or if it’s out yet. Look forward to it.

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  2. […] A version of this short, non-fiction narrative is included in the book, “Eating Kimchi and Nodding Politely.” […]