Beautiful…Lee’s sweeping four-generation saga of a Korean family is an extraordinary epic.”
– San Francisco Chronicle


Trade Paperback (paperback)
February 7, 2017
Hardcover (hardcover)
A saga about four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan, exiled from their home.

PACHINKO follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan.

So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.

Praise for Pachinko

This is a captivating book I read at the suggestion of a young staffer on my team — a historical novel about the Korean immigrant experience in wartime Japan. Min Jin Lee’s novel takes us through four generations and each character’s search for identity and success. It’s a powerful story about resilience and compassion.”
– President Barack Obama
Lee’s stunning novel, her second, chronicles four generations of an ethnic Korean family, first in Japanese-occupied Korea in the early 20th century, then in Japan itself from the years before World War II to the late 1980s. Exploring central concerns of identity, homeland and belonging, the book announces its ambitions right from the opening sentence: “History has failed us, but no matter.” Lee suggests that behind the facades of wildly different people lie countless private desires, hopes and miseries, if we have the patience and compassion to look and listen.”
– New York Times Ten Best Books - Editors of The New York Times Book Review.
Min Jin Lee’s stunning novel “Pachinko” — her second, after “Free Food for Millionaires” (2007) — announces its ambitions right from the opening sentence: “History has failed us, but no matter.””
– Krys Lee for the New York Times
If proof were needed that one family’s story can be the story of the whole world, then Pachinko offers that proof. Min Jin Lee’s novel is gripping from start to finish, crossing cultures and generations with breathtaking power. Pachinko is a stunning achievement, full of heart, full of grace, full of truth.”
– Erica Wagner, author of Ariel’s Gift and Seizure
Astounding. The sweep of Dickens and Tolstoy applied to a 20th century Korean family in Japan. Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko tackles all the stuff most good novels do—family, love, cabbage—but it also asks questions that have never been more timely. What does it mean to be part of a nation? And what can one do to escape its tight, painful, familiar bonds?”
– Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of Little Failure and Super Sad True Love Story
Top 10 Books of February of the Canadian Library Association’s Loan Stars Program”
– Toronto Star
Through it all is a message about love, faith, and the deep-rooted bonds of family. Min Jin Lee gives us a phenomenal story about one family’s struggle that resonates with us today. It will take hold of you and not let go!”
– American Booksellers Association: INDIE NEXT Great Reads Feb 2017 (Jennifer Steele, Boswell Book Company)
50 Most Anticipated Books of 2017”
– Nylon
PACHINKO is about paying dues to a forgotten history; to the complex and fraught Japan-Korea relationship that endured well into the 90s and lingers to this day. But it doesn’t wear its heart—or historical truths—on its sleeve. What drives this novel is the magisterial force of Lee’s characterization; her ability to ground the narrative deeply and intimately in the details of daily life. Also threaded through it are questions of home, identity, nationhood and tradition—including the belief of its female protagonists that ‘a woman’s lot is to suffer.’”
– South China Morning Post by Bron Sibree
Most Anticipated Book Club Reads of 2017 and Biggest Historical Fiction Release of 2017”
Most Exciting Books Coming in 2017”
Lee makes it impossible not to develop tender feelings towards her characters—all of them, even the most morally compromised. Their multifaceted engagements with identity, family, vocation, racism, and class are guaranteed to provide your most affecting sobfest of the year. (Maria Cristina Garcia Lynch)”
– Book Riot: Most Anticipated Books 2017
Ten Books to Read in 2017”
– (Culture) Jane Ciabattari
A beautifully crafted story of love, loss, determination, luck, and perseverance.”
Library Journal (Starred Review)
Deeply compelling story. An old-fashioned epic whose simple, captivating storytelling delivers both wisdom and truth.”
Kirkus (Starred Review)
Both for those who love Korea, as well as for those who know no more than Hyundai, Samsung and kimchi, this extraordinary book will prove a revelation of joy and heartbreak. I could not stop turning the pages, and wished this most poignant of sagas would never end. Min Jin Lee displays a tenderness and wisdom ideally matched to an unforgettable tale that she relates just perfectly.”
– Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and Korea: A Walk through the Land of Miracles
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee is a great book, a passionate story, a novel of magisterial sweep. It’s also fiendishly readable—the real deal. An instant classic, a quick page-turner, and probably the best book of the year.”
– Darin Strauss, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of Half a Life and Chang & Eng
A deep, broad, addictive history of a Korean family in Japan enduring and prospering through the 20th century.”
– David Mitchell, New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks, Cloud Atlas, and Black Swan Green
Pachinko is elegant and soulful, both intimate and sweeping. This story of several generations of one Korean family in Japan is the story of every family whose parents sacrificed for their children, every family whose children were unable to recognize the cost, but it’s also the story of a specific cultural struggle in a riveting time and place. Min Jin Lee has written a big, beautiful book filled with characters I rooted for and cared about and remembered after I’d read the final page.”
– Kate Christensen, Pen/Faulkner-winning author of The Great Man and Blue Plate Special
Luminous…a powerful meditation on what immigrants sacrifice to achieve a home in the world. This story confirms Lee’s place among our finest novelists.”
– Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-Winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and This is How You Lose Her