“Sometimes my therapist, bless her, mentions phobias I don’t have. ‘You’re not an agoraphobe,’ she offered on Wednesday. But nevertheless, I am skeptical of crowded opinions. Books loved by enormous groups of people unnerve me. I skirted WOLF HALL for ages, and the number of people who told me PACKINKO is a good book is equal to the number of times I responded, ‘Oh, I have to read that,’ and then didn’t. I shouldn’t have hesitated. Min Jin Lee began her career as a lawyer, and her interest in research and justice shines through this compelling family narrative. It is sweeping but specific. When my reading lamp putters out­—the only way I can close the book at night—words and images last: Sunja’s simplest chima, or the way her mother cuts radishes in perfect cubes. Huge cultural questions also sweep past, not unanswered but unanswerable: How do communities thrive on each other’s exclusion? How can a people flourish when their equity is rejected? This book is so much about the collective, its fragility and its dangers, paper-thin walls and the thickness of blood.” —Julia Berick

“In their attractive, polished faces, I saw that Stonehenge was as familiar to them as having a gun held to my face was to me.”

“I am 50 years old, and after more than four decades of living in the West, I realize that like writing, talking is painful because we expose our ideas for evaluation; however, like writing, talking is powerful because our ideas may, in fact, have value and require expression.

As a girl, I did not know this power, yet this is my power now.”

Burdock had the honor of interviewing Korean American writer Min Jin Lee while she was working on her third book, AMERICAN HAGWON.

Words by Noël Duan
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During the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, I didn’t expect to cry when athletes from two Koreas marched as one into the stadium, carrying the flag of unification, but tears filled my eyes. It was as if my body couldn’t be stopped from remembering some unspent grief.

With the Winter Olympics in full swing, the big story is the Koreans, in particular the presence in Pyeongchang of Kim Jong-un’s younger sister. It is said that analysts have been scrutinising Kim …

Bill Goldstein selects Pachinko in his Top 5 Books of 2017 in NBC New York’s Bill’s Books. To see the video, please click the link.
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Pachinko by Min Jin Lee is a sprawling, beautiful novel chronicling the cultural struggles of four generations of a Korean family, beginning in 1910 during the time of Japanese colonization. In our …
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Sunday October 29, 2017 Min Jin Lee on the untold story of Koreans in Japan Pachinko is Korean-American author Min Jin Lee’s second novel. (Elena Seibert/  LISTEN TO FULL EPISODE 1:02:01 …
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