Cover of Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist)
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Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist)

By: Min Jin Lee


Imprint: Grand Central Publishing

Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9781455563920

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Electronic | Hardcover | Audio

On Sale: | Pages: 512

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A New York Times Top Ten Book of the Year and National Book Award finalist, Pachinko is an "extraordinary epic" of four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family as they fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan (San Francisco Chronicle). NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2017 * A USA TODAY TOP TEN OF 2017 * JULY PICK FOR THE PBS NEWSHOUR-NEW YORK TIMES BOOK CLUB NOW READ THIS * FINALIST FOR THE 2018 DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE* WINNER OF THE MEDICI BOOK CLUB PRIZE Roxane Gay's Favorite Book of 2017, Washington Post NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * #1 BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER * USA TODAY BESTSELLER * WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER * WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER "There could only be a few winners, and a lot of losers. And yet we played on, because we had hope that we might be the lucky ones." In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant--and that her lover is married--she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way 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. Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan's finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee's complex and passionate characters--strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis--survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history. *Includes reading group guide* p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px Helvetica; color: #1f4e79} span.s1 {font-kerning: none}
“Pachinko” is uninterested in the mores of the rich, looking instead at the survival of the lower class. It is an extraordinary epic, both sturdily constructed and beautiful. Lee's characters are tough, materialistic and determined not just to follow their ambitions despite challenging historical circumstances, but also to make a true home.... Min Jin Lee captures something universal here with notable grace and exquisite craft. There's a flintiness to the narration, but readers who appreciate British and Russian masters of times past will love this approach. As we struggle now against the indifferent vicissitudes of history, this novel is a timely reminder that many before us have managed to survive, if imperfectly, in a world hostile to them.
—San Francisco Chronicle
The novel is frequently heartbreaking — its scope doesn't deter attachment to individual characters, and when bad things happen, the swift pacing and wide-angle view make them seem even more brutal, if at times too sudden. This is the rare 500-page novel that would benefit from some extra flesh, particularly in the last third.
—USA Today
There are some books you walk away from feeling like a fuller version of yourself. There are certain rare reads that don't feel finished after the final page, that you can quietly recognize will resonate within you always. Min Jin Lee's PACHINKO is, undoubtedly and triumphantly, one of these books.... Lee delivers an authentic evocation of Korean culture through the bloodline of one family, from the traditions that helped shape modern Korean identity to the mixed marriages of the modern day. Whether you are familiar with Korean sociocultural mores or you've never so much as had kimchee, PACHINKO is an absolute must-read for any lover of astonishingly beautiful, necessary literature.
In this sprawling book, history itself is a character. “Pachinko” is about outsiders, minorities and the politically disenfranchised. But it is so much more besides. Each time the novel seems to find its locus — Japan's colonization of Korea, World War II as experienced in East Asia, Christianity, family, love, the changing role of women — it becomes something else. It becomes even more than it was. Despite the compelling sweep of time and history, it is the characters and their tumultuous lives that propel the narrative.... 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.
—New York Times
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