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“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
#Interviews #News

“Min Jin Lee discussed her process and interests, and reflected on the hardships of being a professional artist, especially as a woman of color. She also described the impact of receiving a NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship: ‘I needed to have this kind of support that somehow what I did mattered. And that was so important to have NYFA recognize that my little question was worth supporting, and I think that when the average person in this country thinks that art matters, that’s a huge step. Because it is so often seen as less important than food, and housing, and jobs, and healthcare, and all those things are really important for me, too. But I chose this path because I think that literature can create the level of empathy that many things cannot. I believe that, I believe that with everything that I do.'”

“Sources say the eight-episode drama — the third show from Michael Ellenberg’s Media Res — is among the biggest budgeted productions the iPhone maker has in the works.”

The author Min Jin Lee RI ‘19 asks, “Who are the modern Koreans, and what do they care about?” To answer this enormously complex question, Lee explores the will of Koreans to survive and flourish as global citizens, their enduring faith in education, and the costs of such a quest and what it may mean to the larger world they seek to engage. She explains that when she’s writing, she isn’t just writing about Koreans, education, or the diaspora—she’s writing about humans.

“I’ve been asked why I write about Koreans,” Lee said. “And it seems like such a strange question. Because why wouldn’t I write about Koreans? To me, Koreans are mothers and fathers and daughters and sons, which means Koreans are like us; we are worthy of consideration and reflection."

“‘Pachinko’ by Min Jin Lee was one of the most popular books at Cambridge Public Library in 2018.”

“Pachinko” included in the Top 10 Books in Manhattan