Reading by Min Jin Lee, author of Pachinko

Reading by Min Jin Lee, author of Pachinko

“Luminous…a powerful meditation on what immigrants sacrifice to achieve a home in the world. This story confirms Lee’s place among our finest novelists.”

–Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-Winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and This is How You Lose Her

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 all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan.

So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.

MIN JIN LEE is a recipient of fellowships in Fiction from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Monmouth College. The Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives and the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University named her a Frederick Douglass 200 for her work as a writer. In 2018, Lee was named as an Adweek Creative 100 for being one of the “10 Writers and Editors Who are Changing the National Conversation.” Lee has received the NYFA Fellowship for Fiction, the Peden Prize from The Missouri Review for Best Story, the Narrative Prize for New and Emerging Writer, and the Reading Women Award.novel Pachinko (2017) was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, and a New York Times 10 Best Books of 2017. Pachinko was also a Top 10 Books of the Year for BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and the New York Public Library. Pachinko was a selection for “Now Read This,” the joint book club of PBS NewsHour and The New York Times.

BOOK CLUB: Through a special partnership with the UCI Libraries, we are pleased to co-sponsor a book club on Pachinko, led by Professor Joseph Jeon, Thursday, October 11, 5:30-7:00pm, Orange County and South East Asian Archive (OC&SEAA) Center (Lower Gateway Plaza facing Aldrich Park). Please contact Kat Gaffney, UCI Libraries, for information:

Sponsored  by Illuminations, the Center for Critical Korean Studies, the Department of Asian American Studies, and the Department of English.

Event Details

  • When: Thursday, October 18 | 5-7 p.m.
  • Where: Crystal Cove Auditorium, UCI Student Center
  • Organizer: Julia Lupton (email)
Register / RSVP