02 February 2017

Check Out a Book (& Giveaway): Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Pachinko by Min Jin LeeThe discovery: I think I first learned about Min Jin Lee's new novel, Pachinko, at BEA last year, so it didn't take much for me to say yes when offered a review copy from the publicist. I liked the setting and the premise and was impressed by the universally positive reviews. Here's the publisher's summary:

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.
Why I want to read Pachinko: I'm a sucker for a long family saga, and this novel, which spans the twentieth century, has all the promise of good story lines--an affair, a marriage of convenience, a struggle to find a place and identity. I also like the settings of Korea and Japan. I was unaware of the difficulties that Koreans have experienced after emigration to Japan, and especially in light of today's politics, I want to know more about this clash of cultures.

Reviews: Pachinko has won several starred reviews, and Kirkus calls it "An old-fashioned epic whose simple, captivating storytelling delivers both wisdom and truth." Publisher Weekly notes that although this is a character-driven novel Lee sets a strong historical foundation. Post magazine mentions the uneasy relationship between Korean immigrants in Japan, which (as I mentioned) informs this book.

Extra: The Chicago Review of Books interview with Min Jin Lee offers excellent contextual baground to both the author and the novel.

Data: Published by Grand Central Publishing, February 7, 2017; ISBN: 9781478967439. Lee's debut novel, Free Food for Millionaires was a London Times Top 10 Novel of the Year. Pachinko is an Indie Next Pick and has starred reviews from Kirkus and Library Journal.

The giveaway: Thanks to Grand Central Publishing, I am able to offer a copy of Min Jin Lee's Pachinko to one lucky reader with a U.S. or Canadian mailing address. All you have to do to be entered for a chance to win is to fill out the following form. I'll pick a winner via random number generator on February 16. Once the winner has been confirmed and the mailing address has been passed along to the publisher, I'll erase all personal information from my computer. Good luck.


Sarah's Book Shelves 2/2/17, 7:36 AM  

I wasn't excited about this novel at first glance...too long and too serious a topic, but the focus on the marriage of convenience and Koreans immigrating to Japan sounds interesting! I may reconsider...

JoAnn 2/2/17, 8:07 AM  

Heard about this for the first time yesterday... sounds like my kind of book!

bermudaonion 2/2/17, 9:17 AM  

I like family sagas too. This sounds good.

rhonda 2/2/17, 11:55 AM  

I loved her first book .This one is high up on my wish list.

fredamans 2/2/17, 12:17 PM  

I've had this one wishlisted for some time now... thanks for the chance.

Daryl 2/2/17, 1:22 PM  

sounds interesting but right now i am overwhelmed (is that possible?) with good books to read/listen to ... thanks!

Unknown 2/2/17, 1:34 PM  

This book seems to fit all the criteria for being added to my TBR. I love reading about people in other countries and the length is a plus.

ChaosIsAFriendOfMine 2/2/17, 3:07 PM  

This sounds really good. Thanks for hosting a giveway!

(Diane) bookchickdi 2/3/17, 8:19 AM  

I'm going to her book signing in NYC, this looks like a really terrific book.

Deb in Hawaii 2/4/17, 12:08 PM  

I was tempted to order this one because of the setting and subject. It sounds intriguing. ;-)

Jennifer 2/4/17, 8:46 PM  

How I love family sagas!!!

picky 2/8/17, 3:36 PM  

My husband and I went to Japan in May, and Pachinko is EVERYWHERE. We only dared enter one place, and the noise and lights and smoke were insane. We thought we might try to play, but the game seems super involved, and we didn't want to embarrass ourselves. :)

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