Min Jin Lee, Author of Pachinko, Visites UCI
On October 18, three hundred people - students, faculty, staff, and community members - filled Crystal Cove Auditorium. Thrilled to meet Min Jin Lee, author of Pachinko, many entered the room early to reserve seats and to start the conversation with others sitting next to.On October 18, three hundred people—students, faculty, staff, and community members—filled Crystal Cove Auditorium. Thrilled to meet Min Jin Lee, author of Pachinko, many entered the room early to reserve seats and to start the conversation with others sitting next to.
Followed by the welcome remarks from the Dean Tyrus Miller and Associate Dean Julia Lupton, the ebullient audience welcomed Lee, and she answered with warm-hearted regards. She read an excerpt of the book, when Sunja, the main character, leavers her mother for a lover. Based on the mother-daughter relationship portrayed through the excerpt, she talked about her inspirations, historical background, and the Korean immigrants in Japan.
As a daughter of a Korean-American immigrant family, Lee shared her experience growing up in New York. She reminisced her life in a one-bedroom apartment, where mice often run around, with five of all her family members living together. Fully supported by her parents, she was accepted and attended Yale University, and has always embraced her identity as Korean. “Korean immigrants in Japan are very different from that of in the United States,” she said. However, she added that she always wanted to write a story on Korean diaspora, because Japanese-Korean stories during Japanese colonization era are so unique.
During the Q&A session, several people from the audience were enthusiastically engaged in the discussion with Lee, describing how Pachinko was touchy and yet reflected experiences of some of readers who are also from an immigrant background. People seemed very inspired and encouraged by Lee.
The event concluded with a book signing, where people endlessly lined up to greet Lee.