Stories of tragedy, family and resilience


Stories of tragedy, family and resilience

Min Jin Lee's Pachinko is a victorian epic transplanted to Japan, following a Korean family of immigrants through eight decades and four generations. Published in hardback in February by Apollo, Head of Zeus' literary imprint, Pachinko has attracted a great deal of praise, with writers as diverse as John Boyne, Roxane Gay and Erica Wagner calling it their favourite novel of 2017. 

Min Jin Lee introduces her epic Pachinko, and new novel Free Food for Millionaires

Praise for Pachinko

'An epic, multi-generational saga.' Mail on Sunday Best of 2017

'My favourite novel of the year so far is Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, a multi-generational story of Koreans living in Japan over the last century.' John Boyne

'Lee makes it impossible not to develop tender feelings towards her characters- all of them, even the most morally compromised.' Book Riot

'[A]n exquisite, haunting epic... Shaped by impeccable research, meticulous plotting, and empathic perception.' Booklist Starred Review

'A great book, a passionate story, a novel of magisterial sweep. It's also fiendishly readable-- the real deal. An instant classic, a quick page-turner, and probably the best book of the year.' Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng

'A deep, broad, addictive history of a Korean family in Japan enduring and prospering through the 20th century.' David Mitchell, Guardian Summer Reads

'Pachinko could be headed for the bestseller lists.' Elle Magazine

'Gripping... a stunning achievement, full of heart, full of grace, full of truth.' Erica Wagner

'We never feel history being spoon-fed to us: it is wholly absorbed into character and story, which is no mean feat for a novel covering almost a century of history.' Financial Times

'The sweep of Dickens and Tolstoy applied to a twentieth-century Korean family in Japan.' Gary Shteyngart

'Remarkable... Pachinko gives its readers a striking introduction to lives, to a world they may never have seen, or even thought to look at. In our increasingly fractured and divisive times, there can be no higher purpose for literature: all in the pages of a book that, once you've started, you'll simply be unable to put down.' Harper's Bazaar

'An uplifting story... There are moments of shimmering beauty throughout Pachinko... an epic novel that tackles the biggest subjects of the twentieth century onwards: globalisation, economic migration, racism and other difficulties of integration; religion in decline and capitalism on the rise; and the slowly changing role of women in a conservative society that was, in other respects, modernising dizzyingly fast.' ID Magazine

'As the bonds of family are put to the test in the harsh realities of their world, Sunja and those she holds dear manage to carve themselves a place to call home with hard work, self-sacrifice, and a little kimchi. Through it all is a message about love, faith and the deep-rooted bonds of family. Min Jin Lee gives us a phenomenal story about one family's struggle that resonates with us today. It wlil take hold of you and not let go!' Indie Next

'Stunning... In this sprawling book, history itself is a character. Pachinko is about outsiders, minorities and the politically disenfranchised. But it is so much more besides. Each time the novel seems to find its locus- Japan's colonisation of Korea, World War II as experienced in East Asia, Christianity, family, love, the changing role of women - it becomes something else. It becomes even more than it was.' International New York Times

'Luminous... a powerful meditation on what immigrants sacrifice to achieve a home in the world.' Junot Diaz

'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 recognise 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, author of The Great Man and Blue Plate Special

'Love, luck and talent combine with cruelty and random misfortune in a deeply compelling story, with the troubles of ethnic Koreans living in Japan never far from view. An old-fashioned epic whose simple, captivating storytelling delivers both wisdom and truth.' Kirkus

'[A] beautifully crafter story of love, loss, determination, luck and perseverance... Lee's skilful development of her characters and story lines will draw readers into the work. Those who enjoy historical fiction with strong characterisations will not be disappointed as they ride along on the emotional journeys offered in the author's latest page-turner.' Library Journal Review

'A sweeping, engrossing family saga... a poignantly told tale. Gracefully written and dotted with memorable images, evocative of the pace and time, it's a page-turning panorama of one family's path through suffering to prosperity in 20th-century Japan.' Literary Review

'Lee writes about every character with sympathy, generosity and understanding.' New Statesman

'A compassionate, clear gaze at the chaotic landscape fo life itself. In this haunting epic tale, no one story seems too minor to be briefly illuminated. Lee suggests that behind the facades of wildly different people lie countless private desires, hopes and miseries, if we have the patience and compassion to look and listen.' New York Times

'Wonderful, in scope, scale and the beauty of storytelling.' Nicola Sturgeon

'Pachinko is a gorgeous saga of survival, family and love, told in effortless prose.' Phoenix Magazine Best of 2017

'A sprawling and immersive historical work that tells the tale of one Korean family's search for belonging, exploring questions of history, legacy, and identity across four generations... 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

'What a marvellous, deeply engrossing novel about four generations of a Korean family in Japan. There was a lot of story and a lot of history and it is all rendered in impeccable prose with a touch of steeliness... I read this in one day because I simply could not put it down. By far one of the best books I've read this year.' Roxane Gay

'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, author of Korea: A Walk through the Land of Miracles

'It's no surprise that Min Jin Lee's new novel, Pachinko, is garnering praise and hitting 2017 lists of must-reads... Pachinko is a gripping family saga.' South Africa Sunday Times

'This is a long novel, but it never feels it- Min Jin Lee's storytelling is effortless.' Stylist Best New Books for 2017

'A rich, moving novel about exile, identity and the determination to endure.' Sunday Times Event Magazine

'Lee's prose is cool and unobtrusive, every claim is made with weight and a depth of feeling.' The Australian

'The novel reads like a long, intimate hymn to the struggles of people in a foreign land... The novel's multi-generational narrative allows this rich history to unfold at a pace that is beguilingly peaceful... Vivid and immersive, Pachinko is a rich tribute to a people that history seems intent on erasing.' The Guardian

'As an examination of immigration over generations, in its depth and empathy, Pachinko is peerless.' The Japan Times

'A strong story, delivered with exemplary simplicity.' The Mail on Sunday

'The scope and ambition of Pachinko are huge... for most western readers this will be an eye-opening accountn of a slice of East Asian history that still reverberates today.' The Times

'This novel is weighty and detailed, yet time passes quickly when immersed in its pages. The many characters are finely drawn and each layer of the story is expertly placed.' The Toronto Star

'A beautifully realised saga of an immigrant family in a largely hostile land, trying to establish its own way of belonging.' TLS

'This sweeping Korean family saga is really about the obsessions that drive people... This is the story of family, the meaning and complications of blood ties, loyalty and duty, the families we are born into and the ones we choose- and it is this bond that carries the tale, even as Sunja's family swells and expands, reaching like tree branches into the future.' Your Weekend

Pachinko is released in paperback on 3rd August, and is available in hardback and ebook now

Free Food for Millionaires will be available in paperback on 10th August from Apollo, an imprint of Head of Zeus