Born and raised in South Korea, Therese Park came to the United States in 1966 to be a cellist with the Kansas City Philharmonic, (now the Kansas City Symphony.) After 30 years, she retired and began writing seriously. Her first novel, A Gift of the Emperor is the story of a young Korean schoolgirl whose life is shattered when she was forced into sex slavery in a Japanese military brothel on Palau Island in the Pacific during World War II. She presented this book at three national bookfairs—LA Bookfair, Miami Bookfair, and Heartland Bookfair.
Her second book When a Rooster Crows at Night is based on her experience of the Korean War as a child. Her third book The Northern Wind: Forced Journey to North Korea depicts turbulent South Korea in the mid-1960’s, the Vietnam War era, when South Korea faced many crises—the threat of another invasion from North Korea, poverty, and yearning for a better future.
She was one of the Kansas City Star’s Midwest Voices columnists in 2006, and from Jan. 2009 to Mar. 2016, she wrote Commentary in the Star-Johnson County Neighborhood News. Her more than 300 articles and essays were published locally as well as in Washington, D.C., Canada, and South Korea during the past three decades.