NPR: Best Books of 2017

Pachinko makes the NPR Best Books of 2017 list. Selected by Lynn Neary, correspondent of the Arts Desk.

“Japan’s bright, noisy pachinko parlors hide a dark secret. These pinball emporiums are run mostly by Japan’s Korean minority because for decades it was the only employment available to them. In Pachinko, Min Jin Lee traces the difficult history of Koreans in Japan through one family’s story. The saga begins before World War I in a small Korean fishing village, where a young woman becomes pregnant and is saved from disgrace by a man who offers to marry her and takes her to Japan. We follow her and her two sons as they struggle against discrimination, trying to gain respect in a hostile country. Min Jin Lee brings this corner of history to life in a tale that spans three wars and the growth of a multibillion-dollar business that offered Korean-Japanese a way out of poverty.”

–Lynn Neary, correspondent, Arts Desk