Min Jin Lee is a recipient of fellowships in Fiction from the Guggenheim Foundation (2018) and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard (2018-2019). Her novel Pachinko (2017) was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, a runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the Medici Book Club Prize, and one of the New York Times' "Ten Best Books of 2017." A New York Times bestseller, Pachinko was also one of the "Ten Best Books" of the year for BBC and the New York Public Library, and a "best international fiction" pick for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. In total, it was on over seventy-five best books of the year lists, including NPR, PBS, and CNN, and it was a selection for Now Read This, the joint book club of PBS NewsHour and the New York Times. Pachinko will be translated into twenty-seven languages. Lee's debut novel Free Food for Millionaires (2007) was one of the best books of the year for the Times of London, NPR's Fresh Air, and USA Today, and it was a national bestseller. Her writings have appeared in the New Yorker, NPR's Selected Shorts, One Story, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian, Cond Nast Traveler, the Times of London, and the Wall Street Journal. Lee served three consecutive seasons as a Morning Forum columnist of the Chosun Ilbo of South Korea. In 2018, she was named as one of Adweek's Creative 100 for being one of the "ten writers and editors who are changing the national conversation," and one of the Guardian's Frederick Douglass 200. She received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Monmouth College. She will be a Writer-in-Residence at Amherst College from 2019-2022.
"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."--The New York Times Book Review
"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?"--Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of Little Failure and Super Sad True Love Story
"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."--Kate Christensen, Pen/Faulkner-winning author of The Great Man and Blue Plate Special
"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."--Kirkus (Starred Review)
"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 heart, full of grace, full of truth."--Erica Wagner, author of Ariel's Gift and Seizure
"A beautifully crafted story of love, loss, determination, luck, and perseverance...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."--Library Journal (starred review)
"Everything I want in a family saga novel, a deep dive immersion into a complete world full of rich and complex lives to follow as they tumble towards fate and fortune...PACHINKO will break your heart in all the right ways."--Vela Magazine
"Deftly brings its large ensemble of characters alive."--The Financial Times
"Spanning nearly 100 years and moving from Korea at the start of the 20th century to pre- and postwar Osaka and, finally, Tokyo and Yokohama, the novel reads like a long, intimate hymn to the struggles of people in a foreign land...Much of the novel's authority is derived from its weight of research, which brings to life everything from the fishing village on the coast of the East Sea in early 20th-century Korea to the sights and smells of the shabby Korean township of Ikaino in Osaka - the intimate, humanising details of a people striving to carve out a place for themselves in the world. Vivid and immersive, Pachinko is a rich tribute to a people that history seems intent on erasing."--The Guardian (UK)
"Lee's sweeping four-generation saga of a Korean family is an extraordinary epic, both sturdily constructed and beautiful."--The San Francisco Chronicle
"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
"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."--Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and Korea: A Walk through the Land of Miracles
"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."--Booklist (starred review)
"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."--BookRiot, "Most Anticipated Books of 2017"
"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."--Publishers Weekly
"Brilliant, subtle...gripping...What drives this novel is the magisterial force of Lee's characterization...As heartbreaking as it is compelling, PACHINKO is a timely meditation on all that matters to humanity in an age of mass migration and uncertainty."--South China Morning Post Magazine
"Gorgeous."--Nylon.com, "50 Books We Can't Wait To Read In 2017"
"Expansive, elegant and utterly absorbing...Combining the detail of a documentary with the empathy of the best fiction, it's a sheer delight."--The Daily Mail
"A social novel in the Dickensian vein...frequently heartbreaking."--USA Today
"Min Jin Lee has produced a beautifully realized saga of an immigrant family in a largely hostile land, trying to establish its own way of belonging."--The Times Literary Supplement
"Pachinko is a rich, well-crafted book as well as a page turner. Its greatest strength in this regard lies in Lee's ability to shift suddenly between perspectives. We never linger too long with a single character, constantly refreshing our point of view, giving the narrative dimension and depth. Add to that her eye and the prose that captures setting so well, and it would not be surprising to see Pachinko on a great many summer reading lists."--Asian Review of Books
One of Buzzfeed's "32 Most Exciting Books Coming In 2017"
Included in The Millions' "Most Anticipated: The Great 2017 Book Preview" One of Elle's "25 Most Anticipated Books by Women for 2017" BBC: "Ten Books to Read in 2017" One of BookRiot's "Most Anticipated Books of 2017" One of Nylon's "50 Books We Can't Wait To Read In 2017" One of Entertainment Weekly's Best New Books One of BookBub's 22 Most Anticipated Book Club Reads of 2017