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Pachinko
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Pachinko
In this bestselling, page-turning saga, four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in twentieth-century Japan, exiled from a home they never knew."There could...
In this bestselling, page-turning saga, four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in twentieth-century Japan, exiled from a home they never knew."There could...
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Description-

  • In this bestselling, page-turning saga, four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in twentieth-century Japan, exiled from a home they never knew.

    "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.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Min Jin Lee is a writer whose 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. Her short fiction has been featured on NPR's Selected Shorts. Her writings have appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, Times (London), Vogue, Travel+Leisure, Wall Street Journal, New York Times Magazine, and Food & Wine. Her essays and literary criticism have been anthologized widely. She served as a columnist for the Chosun Ilbo, the leading paper of South Korea.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 21, 2016
    Lee’s (Free Food for Millionaires) latest novel is a sprawling and immersive historical work that tells the tale of one Korean family’s search for belonging, exploring questions of history, legacy, and identity across four generations. In the Japanese-occupied Korea of the 1910s, young Sunja accidentally becomes pregnant, and a kind, tubercular pastor offers to marry her and act as the child’s father. Together, they move away from Busan and begin a new life in Japan. In Japan, Sunja and her Korean family suffer from seemingly endless discrimination, and yet they are also met with moments of great love and renewal. As Sunja’s children come of age, the novel reveals the complexities of family national history. What does it mean to live in someone else’s motherland? When is history a burden, and when does history lift a person up? This is a character-driven tale, but Lee also offers detailed histories that ground the story. Though the novel is long, the story itself is spare, at times brutally so. Sunja’s isolation and dislocation become palpable in Lee’s hands. 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.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator Allison Hirato's slow pacing does not enhance this multigenerational story. Furthermore, she offers little delineation between characters, even those of different genders. Still, the clarity of her diction and her expressiveness compensate some for those deficits. At the heart of this novel is Sunja, who was born during before WWII in Japanese-occupied Korea. Sunja perseveres with integrity through misfortune: her own, her sons', and grandsons'. That the family comes to make its livelihood by running pachinko parlors--pachinko being a pinball-like game of chance involving balls careening unpredictably--reflects Senja's own random fortunes. While Hirato's reading would have benefited by being less deliberative and more brisk, PACHINKO remains gently affecting as an audio. K.W. � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine
  • Kirkus

    Starred review from October 15, 2016
    An absorbing saga of 20th-century Korean experience, seen through the fate of four generations.Lee (Free Food for Millionaires, 2007) built her debut novel around families of Korean-Americans living in New York. In her second novel, she traces the Korean diaspora back to the time of Japan's annexation of Korea in 1910. "History has failed us," she writes in the opening line of the current epic, "but no matter." She begins her tale in a village in Busan with an aging fisherman and his wife whose son is born with a cleft palate and a twisted foot. Nonetheless, he is matched with a fine wife, and the two of them run the boardinghouse he inherits from his parents. After many losses, the couple cherishes their smart, hardworking daughter, Sunja. When Sunja gets pregnant after a dalliance with a persistent, wealthy married man, one of their boarders--a sickly but handsome and deeply kind pastor--offers to marry her and take her away with him to Japan. There, she meets his brother and sister-in-law, a woman lovely in face and spirit, full of entrepreneurial ambition that she and Sunja will realize together as they support the family with kimchi and candy operations through war and hard times. Sunja's first son becomes a brilliant scholar; her second ends up making a fortune running parlors for pachinko, a pinball-like game played for money. Meanwhile, her first son's real father, the married rich guy, is never far from the scene, a source of both invaluable help and heartbreaking woe. As 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 troubles of ethnic Koreans living in Japan never far from view. An old-fashioned epic whose simple, captivating storytelling delivers both wisdom and truth.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    September 15, 2016
    Lee's debut, Free Food for Millionaires, was named one of the year's top ten novels by multiple venues. This second work, a big hit at both BEA and ALA, opens in early 1900s Korea with unwed Sunja rescued from the shame of her pregnancy by an offer of marriage that takes her to Japan. What follows is one family's seesawing fortunes over generations. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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