Publication Date: Feb 7, 2017
“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
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
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 More
Publication Date: May 7, 2007
“It would be remarkable if she had simply written a long novel that was as easy to devour as a 19th-century romance — packed with tales of flouted parental expectations, fluctuating female friendships and rivalries, ephemeral (and longer-lasting) romantic hopes and losses, and high-stakes career gambles. But Lee intensifies her drama by setting it against an unfamiliar backdrop: the tightly knit social world of Korean immigrants, whose children strive to blend into their American foreground without clashing with their distinctive background. It’s a feat of coordination and contrast that could kill a chameleon, but Lee pulls it off with conviction.”
– Liesl Schillinger, New York Times Book Review
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.