In this bestselling, page-turning saga, four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in twentieth-century Japan, exiled from a home they never knew.
There could only be a few winners, and a lot of losers. And yet we played on, because we had hope that we might be the lucky ones.
In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant-and that her lover is married-she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home and to reject her son's powerful father sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.
Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan's finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee's complex and passionate characters-strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, and fathers shaken by moral crisis-survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history.
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About the Author
Allison Hiroto is a voice talent and audiobook narrator.
Narrator Hiroto brings a subtle, down-to-earth realism to the story of Sunja.-- "Library Journal (starred audio review)"
Pachinko remains gently affecting as an audio.-- "AudioFile"
A powerful meditation on what immigrants sacrifice to achieve a home in the world.-- "Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author"
A social novel in the Dickensian vein...frequently heartbreaking.-- "USA Today"
The novel expertly portrays the rituals and mores specific to ethnic Korean culture even as it also poignantly captures the universally complicated relationships between family members, lovers and friends. The writing is spare and evocative.-- "New York Times"
An extraordinary epic, both sturdily constructed and beautiful.-- "San Francisco Chronicle"
Combining the detail of a documentary with the empathy of the best fiction, it's a sheer delight.-- "Daily Mail (London)"
Stunning...Despite the compelling sweep of time and history, it is the characters and their tumultuous lives that propel the narrative.-- " New York Times Book Review"
An exquisite, haunting epic...'moments of shimmering beauty and some glory, too, ' illuminate the narrative...Lee's profound novel...is shaped by impeccable research, meticulous plotting, and empathic perception.-- "Booklist (starred review)"
A sprawling and immersive historical work... Reckoning with one determined, wounded family's place in history, Lee's novel is an exquisite meditation on the generational nature of truly forging a home.-- "Publishers Weekly"
Astounding. The sweep of Dickens and Tolstoy applied to a 20th century Korean family in Japan. Min Jin Lee's PACHINKO tackles all the stuff most good novels do-family, love, cabbage-
but it also asks questions that have never been more timely. What does it mean to be part of a nation? And what can one do to escape its tight, painful, familiar bonds?-- "Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author"
Both for those who love Korea, as well as for those who know no more than Hyundai, Samsung and kimchi, this extraordinary book will prove a revelation of joy and heartbreak. I could not stop turning the pages, and wished this most poignant of sagas would never end. Min Jin Lee displays a tenderness and wisdom ideally matched to an unforgettable tale that she relates just perfectly.-- "Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author"
PACHINKO is elegant and soulful, both intimate and sweeping. This story of several generations of one Korean family in Japan is the story of every family whose parents sacrificed for their children, every family whose children were unable to recognize the cost, but it's also the story of a specific cultural struggle in a riveting time and place. Min Jin Lee has written a big, beautiful book filled with characters I rooted for and cared about and remembered after I'd read the final page.-- "Kate Christensen, Pen/Faulkner-winning author "
An old-fashioned epic whose simple, captivating storytelling delivers both wisdom and truth.-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"
The breadth and depth of challenges come through clearly, without sensationalization. The sporadic victories are oases of sweetness, without being saccharine. Lee makes it impossible not to develop tender feelings towards her characters--all of them, even the most morally compromised. Their multifaceted engagements with identity, family, vocation, racism, and class are guaranteed to provide your most affecting sobfest of the year.-- "BookRiot"
A beautifully crafted story of love, loss, determination, luck, and perseverance...Lee's skillful development of her characters and story lines will draw readers into the work. Those who enjoy historical fiction with strong characterizations will not be disappointed as they ride along on the emotional journeys offered in the author's latest page-turner.-- "Library Journal (starred review)"
If proof were needed that one family's story can be the story of the whole world, then PACHINKO offers that proof. Min Jin Lee's novel is gripping from start to finish, crossing cultures and generations with breathtaking power. PACHINKO is a stunning achievement, full of heart, full of grace, full of truth.-- "Erica Wagner, author of Ariel's Gift and Seizure"