Book Review: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee is a saga of the trials and tribulations, joys and sorrows of a Korean family spanning from 1910 to 1989. Lee is a Korean-American author whose work engages with themes of the diasporic Korean identity. Pachinko was published in 2017 to critical acclaim and it was in the running for the National Book Award for Fiction.
Pachinko is a historical novel and its panoramic gaze encompasses twentieth century Korea giving us a terrifyingly real account of Korean society from the Japanese colonization of Korea to the Second World War. The Financial Times wrote in their review of the book: “We never feel history being spoon-fed to us; it is wholly absorbed into character and story, which is no mean feat for a novel covering almost a century of history.”
It is the first novel about Korean history and culture written for English language readers.
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