Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko (2017) was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, a New York Times 10 Best Books of 2017, a USA Today Top 10 Books of 2017, an American Library Association Notable Book, and an American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next Great Reads. It is a New York Times Bestseller. Pachinko was also a Top 10 Books of the Year for BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Public Library, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and the Chicago Public Library. It was on over 75 best books of the year lists, including NPR, PBS, CNN, Vox, History Channel, Esquire, Financial Times, Amazon, The Boston Globe, Minnesota Public Radio, Literary Hub, New Statesman, BuzzFeed, South China Morning Post, The Millions, Goodreads, BookPage, The Rumpus, Southern Living, Town & Country, Book Riot, Bustle, Financial Review, Interpreter, Refinery29, Chicago Tribune, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Electric Literature, WBUR On Point, The Brooklyn Rail, Read It Forward, Whitcoulls Top 100, Entropy, Irish Independent, RTE, and The Irish Times. Pachinko will be translated into 23 languages.
Lee’s debut novel Free Food for Millionaires (2007) was a Top 10 Books of the Year for The Times of London, NPR’s Fresh Air and USA Today. It was a No. 1 Book Sense Pick, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, a Wall Street Journal Juggle Book Club selection, and a national bestseller.
She is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for Fiction. Lee has received the NYFA Fellowship for Fiction, the Peden Prize from The Missouri Review for Best Story, the Narrative Prize for New and Emerging Writer, and the Reading Women Award.
Her fiction has been featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts and has appeared most recently in One Story. Her writings about culture, politics, books, travel and food have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, Conde Nast Traveler, The Times of London, Vogue, Travel + Leisure, Literary Hub, Wall Street Journal and Food & Wine. Her personal essays have been anthologized in To Be Real, Breeder, The Mark Twain Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and Works, One Big Happy Family, Sugar in My Bowl, and Global and the Intimate: Feminism in Our Time. She served three consecutive seasons as a Morning Forum columnist of the Chosun Ilbo of South Korea.
Lee has spoken about writing, politics, film and literature at various institutions and organizations, including Columbia University, French Institute Alliance Francaise, Amherst College, University of Michigan MFA, The Center for Fiction, Tufts, Loyola Marymount University, Stanford, Johns Hopkins (SAIS), University of Connecticut, Boston College, Hamilton College, Hunter College of New York, Harvard Law School, Yale University, Ewha University, Waseda University, the American School in Japan, World Women’s Forum, Korean Community Center (NJ), the Hay Literary Festival (UK), Hong Kong International Literary Festival, Melbourne Writers Festival, the Tokyo American Center of the U.S. Embassy, the Asia House (UK), and the Asia Society in New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong. In 2017, she won the Literary Death Match (Brooklyn/Episode 8), and she is a proud alumna of Women of Letters (Public Theater).
Lee is a graduate of Yale College where she majored in History. She was awarded both the Henry Wright Prize for Nonfiction and the James Ashmun Veech Prize for Fiction. She attended law school at Georgetown University and worked as a lawyer for several years in New York prior to writing full time.
From 2007 to 2011, Min Jin lived in Tokyo where she researched and wrote Pachinko. She lives in New York with her family.