The New York Public Library Podcast features your favorite writers, artists, and thinkers in smart talks and provocative conversations. Listen to some of our most engaging programs, discover new ideas, and celebrate the best of today’s culture.
Today's episode focuses on a fantastic novel that was published earlier this year called Pachinko. Its author, Min Jin Lee, was at the Library back in April to talk about the book with Simon Winchester. The novel tells the story of a Korean family living in exile in Japan between the 1930s and the 1980s, tracing all of the bitterness, heartbreak, torture, survival, and prosperity that foreigners living in a country hostile to them might encounter. With an undeniably compelling narrative that is bursting with characters who are each rich and sympathetic in their own ways, the book is dreadfully hard to put down. And while the story of Koreans in Japan in the decades before and after Korea's division is on the one hand unrecognizable in the immigrant stories which have shaped the American experience, it is at the same time bursting with resonances and similarities.
Lee spoke with Winchester in total candor: about her experience writing this book as well as the ups and down of her career. And she was unflinching on the subjects of race, immigration, and the American treatment of Asians. To top it off, she did a few lovely readings from Pachinko.
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