Free Food for Millionaires

Fiction
Publisher
Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date
May 7, 2007
ebook
9780446504386
hardcover
9780641856150
paperback
9780446699853
In her critically acclaimed debut, National Book Award finalist Min Jin Lee introduces the indelible Casey Han: a strong-willed, Queens-bred daughter of Korean immigrants who is addicted to a glamorous Manhattan lifestyle she cannot afford. Fresh out of Princeton with an economics degree, no job, and a popular white boyfriend, Casey is determined to carve a space for herself in the glittering world she craves-but at what cost?

Casey Han’s parents, who live in Queens, are Korean immigrants working in a dry cleaner, desperately trying to hold on to their culture and their identity. Their daughter, on the other hand, has entered into rarified American society via scholarships. Free Food for Millionaires offers up a fresh exploration of the complex layers we inhabit both in society and within ourselves and examines maintaining one’s identity within changing communities.

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Praise for Free Food for Millionaires

This accomplished first novel, the coming-of-age story of a Princeton-educated Korean-American woman making her way in New York City in the 1990s, recalls the Victorian novels its heroine devours. Our reviewer, Liesl Schillinger, described it as ‘packed with tales of flouted parental expectations, fluctuating female friendships and rivalries,…romantic hopes and losses, and high-stakes career gambles.’

New York Times

The Five-Forty-Five to Cannes (Crown) by Tess Uriza Holthe; Free Food for Millionaires (Warner) by Min Jin Lee; The Gathering (Black Cat/Grove) by Anne…

– San Francisco Chronicle

In her first novel, Free Food for Millionaires, Min Jin Lee largely succeeds in unraveling the story of postcollege, Korean immigrant Casey Han, who is still challenged by her family traditions while striving for acceptance and personal fulfillment in the largely assimilated world of New York high finance. As the main character’s life unfolds, Lee masterfully reveals the fallible interpersonal relationships that define Han’s struggle. She also manages to tell the story from multiple perspectives, allowing the characters richness and authenticity that is often missing in the single point of view.

– Psychiatric Services, A Journal of the American Psychiatric Association

Free Food for Millionaires is different from any book I’ve ever read — a big, juicy, commercial Korean-American coming-of-age novel, one that could spawn a satisfying miniseries, and one that definitely belongs in this summer’s beach bag.

– Entertainment Weekly

Weighing in at a mammoth 560 pages, Min Jin Lee’s Free Food for Millionaires is…

– Northwestasianweekly.com

Min Jin Lee, in her first novel, paints a vast New York landscape that brings to mind…

– Politics-Prose.com

As the face of America becomes stunningly diverse, the need for competent cultural translators grows apace…Now, in her first novel, Korean-American writer Min Jin Lee helps us understand Koreans as they grapple to grab the first rung of the economic ladder.

– Historywire.com

Min Jin Lee gets into the heads of a dry cleaner operator and a Julliard alumnus, an aging bookstore owner and a stockbroker on Wall Street. …

– Bookreporter.com

Casey, the fictional character at the heart of Min Jin Lee’s Free Food for Millionaires, can’t quite figure out how to fit her upper-class tastes into the world of her parents, Korean immigrants who work for a dry cleaning chain.

– Eugeneweekly.com

The life and times of a Korean American girl from Queens who goes to Princeton…

– Lonestarlibrarian

Min Jin Lee, author of Free Food for Millionaires, one of my favorite books this year, will be appearing at US-Korea Institute of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) next week, and Olsson’s will be…

– Olsson’s Bookstore

Then comes Min Jin Lee and her acclaimed new novel Free Food for Millionaires, which takes a Jane Austen-type look at love, education…

– Asia Pacific Arts

But Min Jin Lee is unrelentingly fair to her characters, letting us into their heads….

– Outofthewoods.com

Leave your world behind and explore this story set against an interesting cultural backdrop. This is a book I thought about often at work, and could not wait to get home and dive into the story …

– Jen’s Book Reviews

On the fiction front, I just read Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee, in one fell swoop. It’s (a huge book) about Ivy League-educated Korean Americans in New York City. I stayed up until 4 am because it is a subtle page-turner…

– Whatarewritersreading

Free Food for Millionaires is different from any book I’ve ever read—a big, juicy, commercial Korean American coming-of-age novel, one that could spawn a satisfying miniseries, and one that definitely belongs in this summer’s beach bag.

– Tina Jordan, Entertainment Weekly

Summer Picks from The Boston Herald

– Pattinase

Five years ago we published a story called “Motherland” by an emerging author named Min Jin Lee. We were unanimous in our admiration of what was later selected as the best fiction of that volume year. It’s the story of a Japanese woman…

– The Missouri Review

This new title, published 1 July, by Korean American writer Min Jin Lee is causing a stir…

– Beattiesbookblog

Novelist Min Jin Lee offers us the chance to see this entire culture, up close, personal and far more sympathetically. The book focuses on the emotional and…

– St. Louis Dispatch

Free Food for Millionaires is the best novel I’ve read in a long time. I’m sad to be finished and I desperately miss Casey Han - a perfectly imperfect character whose loyalty, chutzpah and great hats make her someone I wish I knew in real life.

– Elisabeth Egan, Self, Contributing Books Editor

Critic’s pick: Free Food for Millionaires, by Min Jin Lee (Grand Central, $13.99). USA TODAY’s Carol Memmott says this “vastly ambitious” and “stirring”

– USA Today

This accomplished first novel, the coming-of-age story of a Princeton-educated Korean-American woman making her way in New York City in the 1990s, recalls the Victorian novels its heroine devours. Our reviewer, Liesl Schillinger, described it as ‘packed with tales of flouted parental expectations, fluctuating female friendships and rivalries, … romantic hopes and losses, and high-stakes career gambles.

New York Times