Min Jin Lee
in conversation with JEANNIE SUK GERSEN
This event includes a book signing
February 10, 2017
8:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes MIN JIN LEE, the critically-acclaimed author of Free Food for Millionaires, for a discussion of her latest novel, Pachinko. Lee will be joined in conversation by JEANNIE SUK GERSEN, the John H. Watson, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.
Profoundly moving and gracefully told, 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. Betrayed by her wealthy lover, Sunja finds unexpected salvation when a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and bring her to Japan to start a new life.
So begins a sweeping saga of exceptional people in exile from a homeland they never knew and caught in the indifferent arc of history. In Japan, Sunja's family members endure harsh discrimination, catastrophes, and poverty, yet they also encounter great joy as they pursue their passions and rise to meet the challenges this new home presents. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, they are bound together by deep roots as their family faces enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.
"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." ―Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and This Is How You Lose Her
"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
"Deeply compelling . . . An old-fashioned epic whose simple, captivating storytelling delivers both wisdom and truth." —Kirkus, starred review
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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