Summaries and reviews of fiction and nonfiction books by Korean American authors,
books about Korean Americans and Korea, and Korean literature in English translation,
including some academic works and a sampling on the Korean War
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Native Speaker by Chang-rae Lee
With this 1996 debut novel, Chang-rae Lee entered the pantheon of literary best-sellers. Part mystery, part spy story, part immigrant experience, the story examines the character and identity of Henry Park. With this character, Lee begins his theme of studying the externally remote, yet internally tortured man—one who is haunted by trauma or tragedy in the past, most often relating to events in Korea. The complexity of this novel, combined with Lee's signature muscular prose and precision sentences, have made it a continued excellent read.