Finalist, National Book Awards 2017 for Fiction

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee book cover
ISBN 9781455563937
Grand Central Publishing / Hachette Book Group
Min Jin Lee author photo, credit Elena Seibert
Min Jin Lee

Min Jin Lee is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her novel Pachinko was a Finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction. More about this author >

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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.

Judges Citation

Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko expertly weaves a rich tapestry of a family grappling with class and cultural displacement into a masterpiece. Exquisitely drawn, Lee’s sprawling epic highlights the singular pain of searching for home while struggling to assimilate amid a backdrop of war and strife in both a unified Korea and Japan. Each character’s movement toward building a hopeful life is filled with the same twist of chance as the titular parlor game itself.