News & Media

NBC New York: Bill’s Books—Top 5 Books of 2017
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.
South China Morning Post: James Kidd’s “writer of the year”
By James Kidd
Vox: The Best Books I read in 2017
By Ezra Klein, Editor-at-Large
The New York Public Library’s 10 Best Books of 2017
By Lynn Lobash, Manager of Reader Services
History Channel: Best Books of 2017
The Best Books, Shows, Films and Podcasts of 2017 for History Lovers
Read It Forward: Favorite Books of 2017
By Ilana Masad
PBS: Best Books of 2017 (Video)
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 interview with Lee at the 2017 Miami Book Fair, she reflected on the opening lines of her book, “History has failed us. But no matter.” Lee explains, “People who are powerless are affected by history and yet have to carry on because so many of us don’t sit at the tables in which decisions are made.”
The New York Times Best Sellers: December 24, 2017
Pachinko debuts the list at no. 10 for Paperback Trade Fiction. 
The Atlantic: “By Heart” interview with Joe Fassler
By Joe Fassler
San Francisco Chronicle: Top 10 Books of 2017
Pachinko is one of the 5 fiction titles selected in Top 10 Books of 2017.
Lowy Institute: The Interpreter—Favorites of 2017
By Greg Earl
Electric Literature: 25 Best Novels of 2017
What with the impending demise of net neutrality and social media turning into a toxic snake pit, you’re going to want to be spending a lot more time curled up with a book. Celebrate the end of a lousy year and the start of a probably lousier one by picking up a few of the 25 novels that Electric Literature staff and contributors voted as our favorites of 2017. With National Book Award finalists and winners as well as weird small-press offerings, we’ve got something for every taste.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: 10 Best International Fiction 2017
By CBC Books
BBC: The 10 Best Books of 2017
By Jane Ciabattari
BookPage: Readers’ Choice Best Books of 2017
Literary Hub: The Ultimate Best Books of 2017 List
By Emily Temple
WBUR: On Point Radio—Best Books of 2017
Karen Shiffman, executive producer: “Pachinko,” by Min Jin Lee.
The Millions: A Year In Reading 2017
By Vanessa Hua
The Brooklyn Rail: Best Books of 2017
By Joseph Salvatore, Books Editor
Chicago Tribune
Books for Reading and Gifting
CNN: The Fiction that Got Me Through 2017
By Mitra Kalita
USA Today: 10 Books We Loved Reading in 2017
By Jocelyn McClurg
NPR: Best Books of 2017
Pachinko makes the NPR Best Books of 2017 list. Selected by Lynn Neary, correspondent of the Arts Desk.
Irish Independent: Pat Kenny’s Top Book Picks
I read at least a book a week for the radio programme, so after a while they all blur a bit, but there are a few that stick in my mind. The first is a big doorstop of a book called Pachinko, (Head of Zeus, €11.70) by Min Jin Lee, a Korean-American author. It’s a multi-generational saga and a wonderful story. Of all the books that I’ve read this year, it’s the one that springs to mind, as a great read, and an unexpected one. Another one that comes to mind is Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (HarperCollins, €16.90). This was one of the books that we selected for our Eason Book Club. It’s about a woman who’s on the spectrum, it would appear, but she has been through a trauma which is only revealed in trickles throughout the narrative until we finally get a full picture of her life. It’s a tale of redemption.
Financial Review (Australia): Best Books of 2017
By Nicole Abadee
BookPage Best Books of 2017
Pachinko is one of the Top 25 Books of the Year in BookPage
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: 10 Best Books
By Adriana Delgado
The Herald (Glasgow): “What have the great and the good been reading in 2017?”
Jenny Niven, head of literature, Creative Scotland
Irish Times: The Best Books of the Year
Pachinko makes the list. For the complete article, please click the link below.
Ottawa Citizen: Vancouver Public Librarians Book Lists
Financial Times: Best Books of 2017: critics’ picks
Selected by Nilanjana Roy, FT Columnist:
The 10 Best Books of 2017: The New York Times
The year’s best books, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.
Slate Magazine: (Podcast)
An Interview on THE GIST: A Daily News and Culture Podcast with Mike Pesca
South China Morning Post: Profile
By Kate Whitehead
New York Times: Profile
A Novelist Confronts the Complex Relationship Between Japan and Korea
Interview on Writers & Company with Eleanor Wachtel (Audio)
Sunday October 29, 2017
Publishers Weekly: Best Books of 2017, Top 25 Fiction
Pachinko is a Top 25 Fiction selection for PUBLISHERS WEEKLY’s BEST BOOKS OF 2017. Thank you.
PBS NewsHour: Video Essay: “In My Humble Opinion”
To see the video essay about my family in North Korea, please click the link. Thank you.
Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival 2017: Video (Introduction by Ambassador Caroline Kennedy)
This past summer, I had the great honor of being introduced by Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, who is so very cool and fun, at the MV Book Festival.  Thanks to Amb. Caroline Kennedy, the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival, its valiant founder Sullen Lazarus, the great volunteers of the festival, and of course, Bunch of Grapes, independent bookstore extraordinaire.
Hyphen: Asian America Unabridged (Interview with Timothy Tau)
Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko is an epic, sweeping saga of four generations in a Korean family that spans nearly seven decades and three continents and has just been longlisted for the National Book Award. After the publication of Lee’s first novel, Free Food for Millionaires, Lee moved to Japan to research a new novel. That novel, Pachinko, is a marvel of masterful storytelling. The novel has garnered accolades from literary critics and book reviewers, making the “Best Fiction of 2017” list for, Esquire, BBC, Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian and Book Riot, among others. Lee’s short story “Motherland” won the Peden Prize from The Missouri Review and also focused on the topic of Koreans living in Japan. I recently interviewed Min Jin Lee about her past and current work and her next upcoming novel, American Hagwon.
Pachinko is a National Book Awards Finalist for Fiction
By Colin Dwyer
National Book Awards Longlist for FICTION
So profoundly honored and grateful that PACHINKO made the National Book Awards Longlist for Fiction. Thank you.
Washington Post: PACHINKO is Roxane Gay’s Favorite Book of 2017
Daily Mail UK: Review of 10th Anniversary Edition of FREE FOOD FOR MILLIONAIRES
South China Morning Post: 10th Anniversary Review of FREE FOOD FOR MILLIONAIRES
Book review: Min Jin Lee’s Free Food for Millionaires, a modern-day Middlemarch but more fun, gets deserved re-release
New York Times Book Review: What We’re Reading (Podcast)
On this week’s podcast, Judith Newman talks about new parenting books; Bill Goldstein discusses “The World Broke in Two: Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, E.M. Forster, and the Year That Changed Literature”; Alexandra Alter has news from the literary world; and Gregory Cowles, Parul Sehgal and John Williams on what people are reading. Pamela Paul is the host.
Irish Times: Book Review by John Boyne
“A MASTERPIECE OF EMPATHY, INTEGRITY AND FAMILY LOYALTY” : Min Jin Lee tells an endearing tale of hardship and inhumanity suffered by Koreans
Sydney Morning Herald
By Peter Craven
New York Times: Match Book Recommends Pachinko
By Nicole Lamy
Vineyard Gazette: Profile
When the Odds Favor the House, It’s Still Important to Feel Lucky
New Republic
New York Public Library: Conversation with Simon Winchester and Min Jin Lee (Podcast)
Live at the Tenement Museum: Pachinko with AAWW’s Ken Chen and Min Jin Lee (Video)
Introduced by my amazing sister, Myung J. Lee, the Executive Director of Cities of Service.
Book Riot: The Buzziest Books of 2017 So Far: Critical Linking
By Amanda Nelson
BookBub: The Buzziest Books of 2017 (So Far)
By Kristina Wright
British Airways High Life: Recommended Books
Guardian: Best Holiday Reads 2017 Selected by Writers
By Tash Aw
Best Books of 2017 (So Far): Book Riot
PACHINKO by Min Jin Lee FICTION Pachinko is an epic family saga that follows four generations of a Korean family from the early 1900s through the 1980s. The family immigrates to Japan early on in the story and Min Jin Lee simultaneously explores the changing family dynamics as well as the cultural tension and discrimination against Koreans living in Japan. The characters are complex, the story runs deep, and Min Jin Lee’s writing is descriptive without being overwritten. She pulls you into this family from page one and you never want to leave them.
Irish Times: Summer Reading Top Picks
What are Anne Enright, John Boyne and others reading this Summer?
McKinsey & Co.: What CEOs are Reading in 2017
Gail Kelly, member of the Group of Thirty and former CEO, Westpac
The Australian (Book Review)
By Alex Griffin
Irish Independent (Profile)
I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew Lynch of the Irish Independent. A profile of my work appears in the Review (Irish Independent) on June 24, 2017. Thank you. Link:
Amazon Best Books of the Year So Far 2017
Pachinko makes the Amazon list of BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR SO FAR 2017 in the category of LITERATURE & FICTION.
Village Voice: NYC’s Best Independent Booksellers Share their Picks for Summer Reading
By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
World Magazine
By Marvin Olasky
Esquire Magazine: Best Books of 2017 (So Far)
Pachinko made the list, edited by Angela Ledgerwood.
WAMC: The Book Show with Joe Donahue (Podcast)
Episode 1506
Radio Gorgeous UK (Podcast with Donna Freed)
I had a terrific time speaking with Donna Freed on RADIO GORGEOUS. To listen to the podcast, please click on the link below.
BookPage: 12 Best Novels of Immigrants and Refugees
By Cat, the Deputy Editor of BookPage
Hay Festival 2017
I had the pleasure of attending the Hay Festival on May 27, 2017, and the organizers asked me to record my impressions of my first time there.
Nikkei Asian Review: Profile
By Fran Kuzui, Contributing Writer
Hay Festival: Min Jin Lee and Julianne Pachico talk with Lena de Casparis (Audio)
Min Jin Lee and Julianne Pachico talk to Lena de Casparis
Irish Times (Podcast with Roisin Ingle)
By Jennifer Ryan
The Times Literary Supplement: Podcast
I had the chance to speak with Stig Abell and Thea Lenarduzzi about the books I reviewed for The Times Literary Supplement on its wonderful podcast. The segment on the literature about North Korea begins on 25.01.
Times Literary Supplement: Book Review of books by Bandi, J.M. Lee, Mun-yol Yi, and Jieun Baek
Fictions of North Korea
Asia Society: Interview
New Statesman: Book Review
By Neel Mukherjee
The Booklist Reader: 12 Titles to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
By Terry Hong
The Washington Post Bestseller: May 7, 2017
Minnesota Public Radio: The Thread’s Book of the Week
A novel that asks: How do we forgive the ones we love?
The interview with Kyung B. Yoon begins on minute 10.15.
The Boston Globe: The Story Behind the Book
Columbia University: Weatherhead East Asian Institute
April 19, 2017 by Ross Yelsey
Australian Financial Review: Best Books of the Month
This month’s 3 best books: Reviews of A Writing Life, House of Names, Pachinko
Asian Review of Books (Book Review)
People Magazine 2017
San Francisco Chronicle: Recommended Reading
Washington Post: Book Review of Pachinko Audio
San Francisco Chronicle (Book Review)
By Anita Felicelli
Esquire: Top 10 Best Books of 2017 (So Far)
By Angela Ledgerwood
Michigan Daily
‘Pachinko’ is an intimate yet expansive immigrant story
Winnipeg Free Press (Book Review)
Koreans in Japan search for success in Lee’s sumptuous sophomore novel
The Times Literary Supplement: Book Review
Min Jin Lee’s Moving Saga of a Korean Family in Japan
Ploughshares: Book Review
Pachinko Min Jin Lee Grand Central Publishing, Feb 2017 496 pp; $27
Ilkley Gazette UK (Book Review)
Book Review by Annie Clay of The Grove Bookshop: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, published in hardback by Apollo at £18.99
Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center & Bloom Magazine
On History, Survival & Intimacy
New York Society Library: Pachinko Conversation with Jeannette Watson Sanger and Min Jin Lee (Video)
Reading Women (Podcast)
I got to talk with the wonderful hosts Kendra D. Winchester and Autumn Privett of Reading Women. Thank you, Kendra and Autumn.
RN ABC: Books & Arts (Australia) with Michael Cathcart (AUDIO)
Friday 17 March 2017 10:05AM (view full episode)
The Guardian (UK) Book Review
By Tash Aw
Lit Up Podcast with Angela Ledgerwood (AUDIO)
I had the opportunity to talk with Angela Ledgerwood, the host of the brilliant podcast, Lit Up. Angela is smart, funny and gorgeous. Oh, and she’s also kindhearted. 
The Japan Times: Profile of Min Jin Lee and PACHINKO
‘Pachinko’ author Min Jin Lee on how Japan’s ethnic Koreans keep beating the odds
Japan Times (Book Review)
‘Pachinko’: Min Jin Lee writes the struggle of an ethnic Korean family in Japan
POPMATTERS: An Interview with Min Jin Lee
Other Ppl with Brad Listi (PODCAST)
Min Jin Lee speaks with novelist and host Brad Listi of the Other People Podcast. Pachinko is the official February selection of THE NERVOUS BREAKDOWN BOOK CLUB.
The Millions: Pachinko Review
By Steven Williams
BookTalk with Cyd Oppenheimer (AUDIO)
Episode 34
Financial Times (Book Review)
By Arifa Akbar
Vanity Fair Magazine: Pachinko
Foyles Bookstore: Interview on UK Publication Day for PACHINKO
Where did you get the idea for the story?
Daily Mail UK Reviews PACHINKO: “A sheer delight”
By Claire Allfree
WNYC: The Leonard Lopate Show (AUDIO)
Published by
Publishers Weekly Radio: Interview with Rose Fox and Mark Rotella (AUDIO) Episode 213
An interview with PW Radio as PACHINKO hits No. 22 on the Publishers Weekly Hardcover Fiction Bestseller List.
LITHUB: 5 Books Making News This Week
By Jane Ciabattari
NYT Editor’s Choice: PACHINKO
10 New Books We Recommend This Week:
Goodreads: Good Minds
Min Jin Lee immigrated to Queens with her mother, father, and two sisters when she was seven years old. The backdrop of her bestselling debut novel, Free Food for Millionaires, a coming-of-age story of an immigrant college graduate, was set in her childhood neighborhood of Elmhurst. Now, after ten years, Lee’s second novel, Pachinko, follows a Korean-Japanese family across four generations. Lee learned about the history of the Korean-Japanese community in 1989, when she was a junior in college, and has worked on this novel ever since. Pachinko is the story of Sunja, a young woman who loves her family and struggles to survive in the face of historical upheavals and injustice. Lee says that to work on books for such a long time requires love. So, in the month of hearts and cupids, Lee shares the books that, for her, define love: Ain’t I a Woman by bell hooks CLAY WALLS
I recommend CLAY WALLS by Ronyoung Kim wholeheartedly as a seminal work by an important immigrant author.
Paste Magazine: Review by Christine An
“History has failed us, but no matter,” begins Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko.
NPR Book Review: Culture Clash, Survival and Hope in PACHINKO
February 7, 20177:00 AM ET
Newsweek: Best New Books of the Week
Newsday: Review
PACHINKO, by Min Jin Lee. This historical novel, by the author of “Free Food for Millionaires,” follows several generations of a Korean family in Japan during the 20th century, where they face poverty and intense discrimination but make a fortune running pachinko parlors, a pinball-like game. Lee has worked her own Asian variation on the immigrant saga. (Grand Central, $27)
National Book Review: Conversation with Sharon Pomerantz
Min Jin Lee’s 2007 national bestselling novel Free Food for Millionaires was set in the world of Korean immigrants and their children striving for success in New York. Addictively readable, it headed up “top ten novels of the year” lists everywhere from The Times of London to NPR and USA Today. Readers and critics alike found it both intellectually compelling and hard to put down (I remember several nights of turning pages at 2 a.m.). Both a feminist story of one young woman’s quest to break away from her immigrant family’s demands and find personal fulfillment, and a hard-hitting social commentary on the toll exacted by the American Dream, Free Food For Millionaires reads less like a debut and more like the work of a long established master. Liesl Schillinger, writing in the New York Times Sunday Book Review, compared the book to Middlemarch by George Eliot; Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
These new books by writers of color shed much needed light on the darkness of Trump’s immigration ban
NPR’s MORNING EDITION: Interview with Lynn Neary (Podcast)
PACHINKO Is A Family Saga of Exile, Discrimination…And Japanese Pinball
NBC’s Bill Goldstein: Pachinko is “Magnificent”
Literary Critic Bill Goldstein selects PACHINKO for Bill’s Books on NBC New York’s Weekend Today in New York
New York Times Book Review Interview with Editor Pamela Paul (Podcast)
The Pachinko Interview segment follows the interviews Editor Pamela Paul has with Daphne Merkin and a report with Alexandra Alter.
The New York Times Book Review: “Stunning Novel”
Home but Not Home: Four Generations of an Ethnic Korean Family in Japan
Exclusive Excerpt on Literary Hub
June 1932
Esquire Magazine: The 5 Books You Should Read in February
By Angela Ledgerwood, host of Lit Up, a podcast about books, writers, and all things literary
Chicago Review of Books: Top Ten Books of February 2017
Pachinko makes the Chicago Review of Books Top Ten Books of February 2017
BookPage Cover Story: Interview by Adam Morgan
February 2017
Book of the Month Club Selection
Pachinko is the February Selection of the historic Book of the Month Club founded in 1926 . Serving as judge, author of Queen of the Night and Edinburgh, Alexander Chee writes:
Amazon’s Best Books of the Month & Best Fiction and Literature of the Month
Pachinko is a First Edition Selection for Greenlight Bookstore
The Greenlight Bookstore First Editions Club offers great new literature each month, for building a library or keeping up with what’s new.
Kirkus 12 Excellent Reads
Pachinko makes the Kirkus Reviews 12 Excellent Reads List for February 2017
ProBookNerds Podcast
A Conversation with Adam Sockel of ProBookNerds, sponsored by OverDrive Libraries. Adam Sockel and Min Jin Lee discuss the writing of PACHINKO at the American Library Association Midwinter 2017.
San Diego Magazine: Top 5 Books to Read in February 2017
Your Shelf Life: 5 Books to Read in February
PEN TEN Interview
Origins Journal Interview
Min Jin Lee: Identity, Love, and Exile
Bookish: Best Book Club Picks for February 2017
Toronto Star: “Sweeping and Powerful”
The TNB Announces PACHINKO as its February Book Club Selection
Pachinko is the February TNB Book Club Selection, hand-picked by executive editor Jonathan Evison and TNB founder Brad Listi.
South China Morning Post: Post Magazine
“History has failed us, but no matter.” So begins Korean-American author Min Jin Lee’s gripping new novel about a chapter largely ignored in English literature: the Koreans in Japan.
Buzzfeed: 32 Most Exciting Books of 2017
Min Jin Lee’s novel Pachinko is the portrait of one Korean family through multiple generations, from the early 1900s where prized daughter Sunja’s unexpected pregnancy threatens to bring shame to her poor family until a minister offers to marry her and start a new life together in Japan. Sunja’s descendants live in exile from their true homeland, and face (and rise above) all kinds of challenges, from poverty to discrimination, while establishing their identity and family in a new country.
LitHub: On Selling Your Novel After 11 Years
I had already failed at two novel manuscripts. Publishers had rejected my first manuscript, and I rejected the second, because it was not good enough to send out. I was 32 years old and beginning my third novel.
Book Riot: Most Anticipated Books of 2017
Min Jin Lee’s sophomore novel opens during Imperial Japan’s occupation of Korea, and follows a family through five generations of self-discovery. The breadth and depth of challenges come through clearly, without sensationalization. The sporadic victories are oases of sweetness, without being saccharine. 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.
Top 10 Books of February 2017:
“Librarians pick the next great reads” The Canadian Library Association’s Loan Stars Program
BookBub: 22 Most Anticipated Book Club Reads 2017
A new tour de force from the bestselling author of Free Food for Millionaires, for readers of A Fine Balance and Cutting for Stone.
Elle: 25 Most Anticipated Books by Women 2017
The follow-up to her bestselling debut Free Food for Millionaires, Lee’s new novel is a saga set in 1930s Korea and then Japan, detailing the struggles of one family’s poverty, discrimination, and shame in the wake of a daughter’s pregnancy and subsequent abandonment by her lover. Winning early praise from Junot Díaz and David Mitchell, it looks like Pachinko could be headed for the bestseller lists as well
The Millions: Most Anticipated—The Great 2017 Book Preview
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee: A sweeping look at four generations of a Korean family who immigrates to Japan after Japan’s 1910 annexation of Korea, from the author of Free Food for Millionaires. Junot Díaz says “Pachinko confirms Lee’s place among our finest novelists.” (Lydia)
Daily Mail UK: Top 10 Most Anticipated Books of 2017
100 Reasons It’s Going to Be a Wonderful 2017: Daily Mail UK Event’s List of the Must See Films, TV Shows and Essential Books of the New Year:
Kirkus Reviews: Fiction Editor Laurie Muchnick’s My Own Most-Anticipated List
One of my most treasured possessions is a list of all the books I’ve read for the past 30 years, written chronologically in a blank book I won in a high school essay contest. Every January, I print the new year at the top of the next blank page and think about all the books I’m looking forward to reading in the coming months.
BookBub: 21 of the Biggest Historical Fiction Releases of 2017
A new tour de force from the bestselling author of Free Food for Millionaires, for readers of A Fine Balance and Cutting for Stone.
NYLON: 50 Best New Books 2017
American Booksellers Association: Feb 2017 INDIE NEXT Great Reads Pick
Pachinko: A Novel, by Min Jin Lee (Grand Central Publishing, 9781455563937, $27) “A father’s gentle nature, a mother’s sacrifice, a daughter’s trust, and a son’s determination are the cornerstones of this grand, multilayered saga. Pachinko follows one family through an ever-changing cultural landscape, from 1910 Korea to 1989 Japan. As the bonds of family are put to the test in the harsh realities of their world, Sunja and those she holds dear manage to carve themselves a place to call home with hard work, self sacrifice, and a little kimchi. 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!” —Jennifer Steele, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI 10 Books to Read in 2017
This immersive novel follows four generations of a Korean family from 1910, when Japan annexed Korea, through most of the 20th Century. An aging fisherman and his wife run a boarding house in a village near the port city of Busan. Their only surviving son, who has a cleft palate and twisted foot, is married at last. When his teenage daughter Sunja becomes pregnant by a visiting businessman, a kind pastor marries her and takes her to Osaka. After he dies, Sunja’s grit and hard work keep the family afloat during the tough war years. Her elder son makes it into Waseda University. Her younger son thrives by running pachinko parlours, where gamblers play machines in a game similar to pinball. But their future is shadowed by past secrets and betrayals.
Booklist Review: Starred Review
*STARRED REVIEW A decade after her international best-selling debut, Free Food for Millionaires (2007), Min Jin Lee’s follow-up is an exquisite, haunting epic that crosses almost a century, four generations, and three countries while depicting an ethnic Korean family that cannot even claim a single shared name because, as the opening line attests: “History has failed us.”
Publishers Weekly Spring 2017 Announcements: Literary Fiction
Literary Fiction Listings
Stylist UK: Top 10 New Books of 2017
Another book following generations of the same family through history. In 1911 Busan, Korea, we meet Hoonie, born with a club foot and a cleft lip, and married to a 15-year-old girl. When the couple’s one daughter, Sunja, falls pregnant by a married yakuza, salvation comes to her and the family in the form of a young Christian minister, who offers to marry Sunja and take her to Japan.
Center for Fiction: Modern Families (VIDEO)
A Conversation about Modern Families with authors Sonya Chung, Tanwi Nandini Islam, Alden Jones, and Min Jin Lee
Publishers Weekly: “Exquisite meditation on the generational nature of truly forging a home.”
Lee’s (Free Food for Millionaires) latest novel is a sprawling and immersive historical work that tells the tale of one Korean family’s search for belonging, exploring questions of history, legacy, and identity across four generations. In the Japanese-occupied Korea of the 1910s, young Sunja accidentally becomes pregnant, and a kind, tubercular pastor offers to marry her and act as the child’s father. Together, they move away from Busan and begin a new life in Japan. In Japan, Sunja and her Korean family suffer from seemingly endless discrimination, and yet they are also met with moments of great love and renewal. As Sunja’s children come of age, the novel reveals the complexities of family national history. What does it mean to live in someone else’s motherland? When is history a burden, and when does history lift a person up? This is a character-driven tale, but Lee also offers detailed histories that ground the story. Though the novel is long, the story itself is spare, at times brutally so. Sunja’s isolation and dislocation become palpable in Lee’s hands. Reckoning with one determined, wounded family’s place in history, Lee’s novel is an exquisite meditation on the generational nature of truly forging a home. (Feb.)
One Story: Interview with Editor and Novelist Hannah Tinti
HT: What was the seed of this story? What was the first thing you wrote?
Parchment Girl: 50 Amazing New Books 2017
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.
Chicago Review of Books Top Ten Books of February 2017
Pachinko makes the The 10 Best New Books to Read for February 2017.
Vela Magazine: 6 New Books from Diverse Voices
Good novels come to readers who wait.
The Book Report Network: Hachette Book Club Brunch 2016
On Saturday, October 22nd, almost 300 book lovers joined authors and publishing professionals for Hachette’s annual Book Club Brunch — now in its fifth year. Boasting a variety of authors, books and snacks, this event is highly anticipated by readers and sells out nearly every year. The Book Report Network staffers were unable to make it, but we had seven generous readers share their experiences with us, including which authors they connected to most, which books they can’t wait to read, and how the discussion of Min Jin Lee’s PACHINKO — which readers were given the opportunity to read before the event — played out in such a large group.
Library Journal: Starred Review
Set in Korea and Japan, Lee’s follow-up to her acclaimed debut, Free Food for Millionaires, is a beautifully crafted story of love, loss, determination, luck, and perseverance. Sunja is the only surviving child of humble fisherman Hoonie (himself born with a cleft palate and twisted foot) and wife Yangjin in the early 1900s. Losing her father at age 13, Sunja appears to be a dutiful daughter by working at the boardinghouse with her mother, only to surprise the family three years later by becoming pregnant by an older married man with children. She saves face when a minister at the boardinghouse, ten years older than Sunja, offers to marry her and take her to Japan with him to start a new life. What follows is a gripping multigenerational story that culminates in 1989. There are surprising twists, especially when Sunja crosses paths with her former lover while living in Japan. VERDICT Lee’s skillful development of her characters and story lines will draw readers into the work. Those who enjoy historical fiction with strong characterizations will not be disappointed as they ride along on the emotional journeys offered in the author’s latest page-turner. —Shirley Quan, Orange City. P.L., Santa Ana, CA
Kirkus Reviews: Starred Review
An absorbing saga of 20th-century Korean experience, seen through the fate of four generations.
The Story of Hong Gil Dong (Penguin Classics) Translated by Minsoo Kang (VIDEO)
At the Asian American Writers’ Workshop
Korean Community Center Keynote Address 2016 (VIDEO)
Chicago Review of Books: Why It Took Min Jin Lee’s New Novel 30 Years to Write
From Suki Kim’s The Interpreter to Min Jin Lee’s own Free Food for Millionaires, stories of Koreans and first generation Korean-Americans navigating life in the States span the hysterical, poignant, and bittersweet. But few works exist that detail an entirely different Korean immigrant community: those transplanted just across the sea to Japan. After spending four years living abroad in Tokyo herself, Korean-American lawyer-turned-writer Min Jin Lee has tackled the stories of this underrepresented community in her second novel, Pachinko, forthcoming in February 2017 from Grand Central.
Junot Diaz and Min Jin Lee in Conversation at Asian American Literary Festival (VIDEO)
At the Asian American Writers’ Workshop
Free Food for Millionaires is Junot Diaz’s Summer Reading Pick at The New Yorker
“Because I teach during the regular months, summer is where I can indulge in what I love most: a free-for-all reading spree. Already got my next four victims lined up. First, a novel I’ve read once before but I can’t resist a double serving of: Min Jin Lee’s “Free Food for Millionaires.” One of the great first novels of the past decade and a book that is simultaneously profound and un-put-down-able. From the moment Casey, our yearning kickass protagonist, finds her white boyfriend in bed with two other gals, this book just grabs on, and it don’t matter whether you’re on a ferry to somewhere awesome or stuck in a lousy job you hate, this book will thrill you to the bone. Lee writes her (and your) ass off. This is one everybody should read.”
VOGUE: Up Front “After the Earthquake”
March 11, 2011, fell on a Friday, the day I run errands and go to the market. Until 2:46 p.m., about an hour before my thirteen-year-old son, Sam, would return home from his international school in Chofu, a suburb of Tokyo, it had been a good day. Once in a rare while in the life of a writer struggling on her sophomore novel, it’s possible to achieve a state of semi-contentedness by producing a few decent pages, and that morning was a halcyon interlude in my otherwise grumbling condition. After printing out my day’s work, I tidied the house, raced to the bank, paid my utility bills, then mulled over what to make for dinner for Sam and my husband, Christopher.
Free Food for Millionaires Trailer
Chosun Ilbo
조선일보 아침논단 by Min Jin Lee
Wall Street Journal—My Korean New Year:
Wall Street Journal- Asia, April 3, 2009
When I was in Hong Kong for the Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival, I was interviewed by the journalist Saul Sugarman who is also on the staff of the Far Eastern Economic Review.
South China Morning Post - March 1, 2009
A profile of my work appeared in the Post - the English-language paper of Hong Kong. It was written by Melinda Harper. I recently visited Hong Kong for its Man Hong Kong Literary Festival, and it was a beautiful place.
Yonhap News Agency: “Top 10 Bestsellers in South Korea’s Foreign Fiction List”
A profile of my work appeared this month in the Yonhap News—South Korea’s official news agency. I was interviewed by the journalist Shin Hae-in of Yonhap.
Profile in J-Select
Profiles about my work appeared in J-Select this month:“The Reluctant Expatriate,” (Sept/Oct 2008) was written by Suzanne Kamata, author of the novel Losing Kei.
Profile in The Japan Times
Profiles about my work appeared in The Japan Times this month. The article in The Japan Times (”Tackling the ‘Zainichi’ experience” September 9, 2008) was written by Tim Hornyak, author of Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots.
“Forget the Comparisons, She’s Unique” - Newsweek
From the interview: Newsweek: But there was so much adultery in the book! Everyone was sleeping around and breaking up with each other. It’s sort of a dim view of love.
Fallout Central Podcast
Upstairs at the Square
At Barnes & Noble
Min Jin Lee at the Asia Society
The Author of “Free Food for Millionaires” talks to Helen Koh
New York Daily News
A first novel tells a sexy story of young Korean…
Washington Times
Trying on different hats
Virginian Pilot
In ‘Free Food,’ Lee takes an exquisite…
Min Jin Lee’s debut novel, Free Food for Millionaires, tells a story many of us can identify with. Casey, the daughter of working-class Korean immigrants in …
Asian American Writer’s Workshop
Min Jin Lee Min Jin Lee’s upcoming debut novel, Free Food for … Min Jin Lee: A pre-sell tour is when a publisher sends an author out around the country to …
New York Book Festival Runners-Up: Free Food For Millionaires ‚Äì Min Jin Lee Hard-Boiled Men ‚Äì Guy Jacobs HONORABLE MENTION: Crossing the Wire - Robert Kornhiser …
New York Times Podcast
Martha Southgate on the vanishing black literary novel; Liesl Schillinger on Min Jin Lee; and Dwight Garner, senior editor, with best-seller news… [podcast]
WAMC Roundtable
As I Am
The Pilot features up and coming author Min Jin Lee as she discusses her new book Free Food for Millionaires with Boston College’s Professor Min Hyoung Song …
If you want a thick, extremely well written literary novel then rush out and pick up Free Food For Millionaires. It took me a while to read but every night I crawled into bed with it and marveled at how Min Jin Lee crafted this satisfying novel that weaves together so many themes.
Viewpoint with Jean Dean
Jean’s first guest was Dr. Michael Doyle MS, Ph.D, Director, Center for Food Safety. Jean’s second half hour was with Min Jin Lee, author of “Free Food For Millionaires.”
Columbia University Conference “Fear of Flying” Can a Feminist Classic Be an American Classic?
NPR: KQED The Writer’s Block
Wall Street Journal Juggle Book Club Selection
Min Jin Lee on Leaders, Good Girls and the Discomforts of Wealth The Juggle spoke yesterday with Min Jin Lee, author of “Free Food for Millionaires” the third book in our Juggle book club. Ms. Lee called us from Tokyo, where she lives with her husband and 10-year-old son, and where she’s working on…
I was fortunate enough to meet Min Jin Lee, author of Free Food for Millionaires, at a reading here in DC a few months ago. She had read my first blog post about her book, and graciously signed my copy. A few months later, when I posted …
Audio: Happy Ending Reading Series
Tonight, Amanda throws candy at the crowd, it being so close to Halloween and all. And then she is bench-pressed by Benjamin Percy. All wince as Roy Kesey waxes his legs as a performance art/act of protest against the Bush administration. And Min Jin Lee lightens it up a bit by telling us a dirty joke while balancing a spoon — on her nose. They all also read engagingly, even enticingly, and the music is by Max Gabriel.
The Publishing Spot
A discussion of how to publish, specialty publishers, publishing companies, publishing opportunities, publishing agents, etc.
The Publishing Spot
This week I’m interviewing first-time novelist, Min Jin Lee about how she mastered this 19th Century technique in her new book. It’s called Free Food for Millionaires, an epic novel employing some unfamiliar writing tools that all …
Radio New Zealand
Nine To Noon … by Min Jin Lee (Hutchinson, ISBN 9780091796181)
The Times (of London) Book Review of Free Food for Millionaires
By Melissa Katsoulis July 28, 2017
NPR, Fresh Air
Min Jin Lee’s debut novel Free Food for Millionaires tells the story of a young Korean-American woman whose Ivy League education exposes her …
NPR Booktour
Keeping up with the Joneses isn’t easy ‚Äî even if you’re a fashion-conscious young woman with an Ivy League degree, a strong sense of …
Here’s what we know about Casey Han, the heroine of Min Jin Lee’s sprawling first novel: She’s the daughter of…
Read This (Life and Arts)
The first novel by Min Jin Lee looks at the precarious time after college graduation when dreams may not be realized, carefully laid plans can collapse and …
55 Secret Street
Min Jin Lee is the author of the fantastic, critically-acclaimed novel Free Food for Millionaires. You may remember it as one of my 55 Summer Favorites. Min went to Yale where she was awarded both the Henry Wright Prize for Nonfiction …
Newsweek Interview
Min Jin Lee’s ambitious debut novel, “Free Food for Millionaires,” has been showered with … Min Jin Lee: We migrated from Korea to the US when I was 7. …
Min Jin Lee is the author of Free Food for Millionaires. From an interview posted on her website:. Q: You‚Äôve chosen to write this book showing many points of view. Is there a reason why? More than anything, I wanted to try to write …
NPR Tell Me More
Min Jin Lee wanted to capture the experience of children of immigrants living in America. Her debut novel, Free Food for Millionaires, tells the story of Casey Han, a daughter of Korean immigrants living in New York. Lee discusses her book and the passion behind her writing.
The New York Times
In her accomplished and engrossing first novel, the Yale-and-Georgetown-law-educated writer Min Jin Lee tells the story of an angry young …
New York Times
As a capable young woman, Casey Han felt compelled to choose respectability and success. But it was glamour and insight that she craved. …
NPR On Point
A conversation with Korean-American novelist Min Jin Lee. She’s getting robust praise for her debut novel “Free Food for Millionaires.”
The Observer, Guardian
When stalking is the only comfort The Observer - Jun 24, 2007 Min Jin Lee explores the most fundamental crisis of immigrants’ children: how to bridge a generation gap so wide it is measured in oceans, gaping between …
The Urban Muse
Min Jin Lee is yet another example of the lawyer-turned-writer phenomenon. This Yale alum is the author of Free Food for Millionaires, a delightful debut novel about a recent college grad trying to reconcile the thriftiness of her …
Privilege and Poverty - A Rebellious Young Korean Woman Gets a Crash…
Casey Han has just graduated from Princeton on scholarship, when a visit to her parents’ apartment turns …
San Francisco Chronicle
Poor people stay poor because “they spend all their money on pride.” So says one of the characters in Min Jin Lee’s expansive first novel …
OC Register
The real lessons come after college is over OCRegister - Jun 3, 2007 The first novel by Min Jin Lee ‚ a Korean immigrant who went to Yale University,  looks at the precarious time after college graduation when dreams may not …
The Chronicle Journal
In Free Food, Lee takes exquisite look at life’s uncertainties Chronicle Journal - The Chronicle Journal - Jun 2, 2007 The first novel by Min Jin Lee - a Korean immigrant who went to Yale University - looks at the precarious time after college graduation when dreams may not …
Audrey Magazine
In her debut novel Free Food for Millionaires, author Min Jin Lee tackles the rarely explored world of modern Asian America in novel form with familiar …
Daily Camera
The first novel by Min Jin Lee - a Korean immigrant who went to Yale University - looks at the precarious time after college graduation when .
San Francisco Chronicle
Novel Looks at Life’s Uncertainties San Francisco Chronicle - May 30, 2007 The first novel by Min Jin Lee ‚Äî a Korean immigrant who went to Yale University ‚Äî looks at the precarious time after college graduation when dreams may not …
NPR Talk of the Nation
I am really interested in reading though I haven’t read them yet - Min Jin Lee’s‚ Free Food for Millionaires.‚ It’s about the child of immigrant …
Out This Week
Other notable releases: fiction—Free Food for Millionaires, Min Jin Lee; The Overlook, Michael Connelly; nonfiction—God in My Corner: A Spiritual …
My thanks to Min Jin Lee,for giving me her time and thoughts for this interview. Free Food For Millionaires will be available everywhere and if you would like to know more about Min Jin and her work,please visit her official website by …
People Magazine
USA Today
Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee may be the right book at the right time. It’s a first novel that, through sheer coincidence, opens a door onto the …
USA Today
As a capable young woman, Casey Han felt compelled to choose respectability and success. But it was glamour and insight that she craved. …
Washington Post
When a 22-year-old Princeton grad takes too long to find a job, her dad sends her packing. …
Springing Forward: Fiction/First Novels & Collections
The daughter of Korean immigrants navigates the Manhattan world of haves and have-nots.