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About the Author
Don Lee is the author of the story collection Yellow and the novels Country of Origin, Wrack and Ruin, The Collective, and Lonesome Lies Before Us. He has received an American Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, the writer Jane Delury, and teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at Temple University in Philadelphia.
[A] frontal assault on matters of identity . . . [Lee] proves himself a worthy practitioner of realistic fiction in the vein of writers like Richard Yates and Andre Dubus. His narratives zip along, encapsulating whole lifetimes of intelligent men and women whose self-awareness is insufficient for the gauntlets they must run . . . It's a tricky proposition to write about ethnicity and not crowd readers with right thinking. But Lee does it, and in the process proves that wondering about whether you're a real American is as American as a big bowl of kimchi.
--New York Times Book Review, on Yellow
Accomplished . . . Lee alternates between humor and pathos in delineating his characters' endeavors to find people who will give their lives meaning. --Washington Post, on Yellow
Completely realized . . . poised . . . This is a collection for readers often left unsatisfied by the brevity of short stories . . . [F]inely crafted. --Boston Globe, on Yellow
The central preoccupations of Don Lee's first novel feel like urgent issues for our times. The characters wrestle with slippery questions of race and identity, and the story unfolds in that liminal space where America interacts with another culture. --New York Times Book Review, on Country of Origin
[An] engrossing first novel . . . about origins and destinations that succeeds rather effectively in dramatizing all sorts of questions about where we have come from and where we are going . . . A nicely textured travelogue of Tokyo's underlife, all a swirl of action, a whirl of love and sex and race and politics, local and international.
--Chicago Tribune, on Country of Origin
[An] elegant and haunting debut . . . [Country of Origin] hinges on a taut plot and then widens in concentric circles to become a novel of ideas. --Entertainment Weekly
Masterly . . . Lee has outdone himself here. His prose moves and sparkles. He gives his characters a depth and thoroughness not commonly achieved by practitioners of the comic novel, a label that seems almost a disservice to a book as thoughtful as this one. --Washington Post, on Wrack & Ruin
[A] highly appealing novel that swerves ever so gracefully from rollicking humor to poignant moments of reflection. --Booklist, on Wrack & Ruin
Entertaining . . . a darn good story. --San Francisco Chronicle, on Wrack & Ruin
A fine prose stylist meditates on idealism and pragmatism in his novel of ambitious, young Asian American artists . . . Here, he credibly addresses the political and social concerns of a specific demographic, while also rendering a work that will feel relatable to nearly everyone who reads it. --Time Out New York, on The Collective
Mr. Lee plucks familiar chords with a sure hand, glancing on themes of grief, jealousy and second chances . . . But what really stamps this book on the heart is Yadin's vulnerable spiritual journey from loneliness toward something like grace. --Wall Street Journal, on Lonesome Lies Before Us