Episode 93: Jin Min Lee on the History of the Korean Immigrant Experience in Japan

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Listen to Jin Min Lee HERE

I’m excited to celebrate International Women’s Day with my convo with writer Min Jin Lee, whose latest novel Pachinko is a stellar example of female resilience through the ages. Pachinko illuminates a period of history unknown to many of us – early 20th Century relations between Korea and Japan. If you’re looking for a sweeping and absorbing historical saga (you’ll become smarter reading this book) then this is the novel for you. Listen to Min Jin’s extraordinary story of how long it took her to write this book, her experience of living in Japan, and more.

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Buy Pachinko here.

Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko (Feb 2017) is a national bestseller, a New York Times Editor’s Choice and an American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next Great Reads. It is a Top Ten Books of the month for Amazon. It has been listed as a top read or a most anticipated book for BBC.com, NBC’s Bill Goldstein’s Weekend Today, Newsweek.com, Stylist UK, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com, LitHub, The Millions, Chicago Review of Books, BuzzFeed, Book Riot, BookPage, Elle.com, Daily Mail UK, BookBub, Nylon, and it is a Book of the Month Club selection. Pachinko received a Starred Review from Kirkus, Library Journal and Booklist. It has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show, Publishers Weekly Radio, and NPR’s Book Reviews. Lee’s debut novel* Free Food for Millionaires (May 2007) was a No. 1 Book Sense Pick, a *New York Times Editor’s Choice, a Wall Street Journal Juggle Book Club selection, and a national bestseller; it was a Top 10 Novels of the Year for The Times of London, NPR’s Fresh Air and USA Today.

Min Jin went to Yale College where she was awarded both the Henry Wright Prize for Nonfiction and the James Ashmun Veech Prize for Fiction. She attended law school at Georgetown University and worked as a lawyer for several years in New York prior to writing full time. She has received the NYFA Fellowship for Fiction, the Peden Prize from The Missouri Review for Best Story, and the Narrative Prize for New and Emerging Writer. Her fiction has been featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts and has appeared most recently in One Story. Her writings about books, travel and food have appeared in The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, The Times of London, Vogue (US), Travel + Leisure (SEA), Wall Street Journal and Food & Wine. Her personal essays have been anthologized in To Be Real, Breeder, The Mark Twain Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and Works, One Big Happy Family, Sugar in My Bowl, and Global and the Intimate: Feminism in Our Time. She served three consecutive seasons as a Morning Forum columnist of the Chosun Ilbo of South Korea. Lee has lectured about writing, politics, film and literature at various institutions including Columbia University, French Institute Alliance Francaise, Tufts, Loyola Marymount University, Stanford, Johns Hopkins (SAIS), University of Connecticut, Boston College, Hamilton College, Hunter College of New York, Harvard Law School, Yale University, Ewha University, Waseda University, the American School in Japan, World Women’s Forum, Korean Community Center (NJ), the Tokyo American Center of the U.S. Embassy and the Asia Society in New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong. In 2017, she won the Literary Death Match (Brooklyn/Episode 8).

From 2007 to 2011, Min Jin lived in Tokyo, Japan where she wrote Pachinko (February 2017). She lives in New York City with her family.

photo copyright 2016 Elena Seibert

 

 

 

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