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I read part of this book while I was sick, and had a formative and intense fever dream about it. I woke up confused about where (and when) I was, and deeply concerned about the fate of one of Min Jin Lee's characters. In Pachinko, Lee sweeps us along with a family of Korean immigrants living in pre- and post-war Japan. Lee shows us a community whose history is rooted in stark racism, and stems, as generations pass, into a liminal void of Other; not quite outsider, not quite native. Here is a story of a family endeavoring to keep itself together. Lee writes with palpable emotion and beauty. This is a novel in a class all its' own.— From Charlotte's Picks
“A father's gentle nature, a mother's sacrifice, a daughter's trust, and a son's determination are the cornerstones of this grand, multilayered saga. Pachinko follows one family through an ever-changing cultural landscape, from 1910 Korea to 1989 Japan. As the bonds of family are put to the test in the harsh realities of their world, Sunja and those she holds dear manage to carve themselves a place to call home with hard work, self sacrifice, and a little kimchi. Through it all is a message about love, faith, and the deep-rooted bonds of family. Min Jin Lee gives us a phenomenal story about one family's struggle that resonates with us today. It will take hold of you and not let go!”
— Jennifer Steele (E), Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
“Min Jin Lee has given us a treasure. Pachinko is one of those rare novels that changes your perception of history. The characters are complex and fascinating, and the setting is so beautifully drawn that I felt I was right there with them in Korea, Japan, and the U.S. Lee illuminates the history of Koreans during and after World War II, but, more than that, she brings us a haunting yet beautiful story of family, devotion, lies, politics, and, of course, the game of pachinko.”
— Elaine Petrocelli, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA