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Pachinko

  • Writer
    Min Jin Lee
  • Country
    U.S.A
  • Publisher
  • Published Year
    2017
  • Genre
    Literature - English and American literatures - Fiction

Description

Publisher's Weekly

November 21, 2016

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.

 

•Included in The Millions' 32 Most Exciting Books Coming In 2017

•The New York Times Book Review Stunning... Despite the compelling sweep of time and history, it is the characters and their tumultuous lives that propel the narrative... A compassionate, clear gaze at the chaotic landscape of life itself. In this haunting epic tale, no one story seems too minor to be briefly illuminated. Lee suggests that behind the facades of wildly different people lie countless private desires, hopes and miseries, if we have the patience and compassion to look and listen.

•Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and This Is How You Lose Her In 1930s Korea, an earnest young woman, abandoned by the lover who has gotten her pregnant, enters into a marriage of convenience that will take her to a new life in Japan. Thus begins Lee's luminous new novel PACHINKO—a powerful meditation on what immigrants sacrifice to achieve a home in the world. PACHINKO confirms Lee's place among our finest novelists.

•David Mitchell, Guardian, New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks A deep, broad, addictive history of a Korean family in Japan enduring and prospering through the 20th century.

•Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of Little Failure and Super Sad True Love Story Astounding. The sweep of Dickens and Tolstoy applied to a 20th century Korean family in Japan. Min Jin Lee's PACHINKO tackles all the stuff most good novels do-family, love, cabbage-but it also asks questions that have never been more timely. What does it mean to be part of a nation? And what can one do to escape its tight, painful, familiar bonds?

•Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and Korea: A Walk through the Land of Miracles Both for those who love Korea, as well as for those who know no more than Hyundai, Samsung and kimchi, this extraordinary book will prove a revelation of joy and heartbreak. I could not stop turning the pages, and wished this most poignant of sagas would never end. Min Jin Lee displays a tenderness and wisdom ideally matched to an unforgettable tale that she relates just perfectly.

•Kate Christensen, Pen/Faulkner-winning author of The Great Man and Blue Plate Special 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.

•Booklist (starred review) An exquisite, haunting epic...'moments of shimmering beauty and some glory, too,' illuminate the narrative...Lee's profound novel...is shaped by impeccable research, meticulous plotting, and empathic perception.

•Darin Strauss, National Book Critics Circle-winning author of Half a Life: A Memoir PACHINKO by Min Jin Lee is a great book, a passionate story, a novel of magisterial sweep. It's also fiendishly readable-the real-deal. An instant classic, a quick page-turner, and probably the best book of the year.

•Kirkus (Starred Review) An absorbing saga of 20th-century Korean experience... the destinies of Sunja's children and grandchildren unfold, love, luck, and talent combine with cruelty and random misfortune in a deeply compelling story, with the trouble of ethnic Koreans living in Japan never far from view. An old-fashioned epic whose simple, captivating storytelling delivers both wisdom and truth.

•Publishers Weekly A sprawling and immersive historical work... 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.

•Erica Wagner, author of Ariel's Gift and Seizure If proof were needed that one family's story can be the story of the whole world, then PACHINKO offers that proof. Min Jin Lee's novel is gripping from start to finish, crossing cultures and generations with breathtaking power. PACHINKO is a stunning achievement, full of...

 

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Translated Books (2)

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