Made possible by the Drue Heinz Trust
“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.”
Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and Korea: A Walk through the Land of Miracles
Min Jin Lee’s National Book Award finalist, Pachinko, is a gorgeous, page-turning saga where four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan, exiled from a home they never knew.
Lee’s debut novel, Free Food for Millionaires, was one of the “Top 10 Novels of the Year” for The Times (London), NPR’s Fresh Air, and USA Today. While attending Yale she was awarded both the Henry Wright Prize for Nonfiction and the James Ashmun Veech Prize for Fiction. She later worked as a lawyer for several years in New York prior to becoming an award-winning fiction writer.
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 married lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son’s powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations. So begins the tale of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.
More about Min Jin Lee
Min Jin Lee’s Website
The New York Times, November 2017
A Novelist Confronts the Complex Relationship Between Japan and Korea
LitHub, November 2017
Min Jin Lee: Love in The New World – On Breaking Tradition, and Trusting in Family
NPR Book Review, February 2017
Culture Clash, Survival And Hope In ‘Pachinko’
“A deep, broad, addictive history of a Korean family in Japan enduring and prospering through the 20th century.”
David Mitchell, Guardian – New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks
Join us in the Music Hall Foyer after the lecture to get your book signed or personalized. Classic Lines will have books for sale.
Underwritten by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
With Additional Support from Hunter Associates and Point Park University
Funding for this lecture was provided by the John H. Fox Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation.