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Posted : 2014-05-13 17:43
Updated : 2014-05-16 18:41

Novelist Lee Chang-rae to have book club meeting

Novelist Lee Chang-rae
By John Redmond

Popular expat English publication 10 Magazine will introduce special guest author Lee Chang-rae at its Book Club meeting at the Haechi Hall of the Seoul Global Culture and Tourism Center on May 20.

Novelist Lee has written several award-winning books including "Native Speaker," "A Gesture Life," "The Surrendered" and his new novel, "On Such a Full Sea."

His first novel, "Native Speaker" (1995), won numerous awards including the PEN/Hemingway Award. The novel centers on a Korean-American industrial spy, and explores themes of alienation and betrayal as felt or perpetrated by immigrants and first-generation citizens and played out in local politics.

In 1999, he published his second novel, "A Gesture Life." This elaborated on his themes of identity and assimilation through the narrative of an elderly Japanese-American doctor who remembers treating Korean comfort women during World War II.

For that book, Lee received the Asian American Literary Award. His 2004 novel "Aloft" featured a disengaged and isolated Italian-American suburbanite forced to deal with his world. It received the 2006 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature in the adult fiction category, according to a press release.

"The Surrendered," his 2010 novel, won the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and was a nominated finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Lee's most recent novel, "On Such a Full Sea" (2014), is set in a dystopian future version of the American city of Baltimore, Maryland, called "B-Mor" where the main character, Fan, is a Chinese-American laborer working as a diver at a fish farm.

Lee was selected by The New Yorker as one of the 20 best writers under 40. He teaches writing at Princeton University.

The book club event will be on the fifth floor of the M Plaza in Myeong-dong, downtown Seoul, from 5 to 7 p.m.


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