Chang-rae Lee biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Chang-rae Lee.

Author Biography  |  Interview  |  Books by this Author  |  Readalikes

Chang-rae Lee

Chang-rae Lee

Chang-rae Lee Biography

Chang-rae Lee is the author of Native Speaker, winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for First Fiction, A Gesture Life, and Aloft. He is also the recipient of an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, a Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award, a NAIBA Book Award for Fiction, an Asian American Literary Award, an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, the Oregon Book Award, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, and QPB’s New Voices Award. Selected by The New Yorker as one of the twenty best writers under forty, Chang-rae Lee teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University.

This biography was last updated on 04/12/2010.

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Interview

A video interview with Chang-rae Lee; followed by a text interview in which he discusses his fourth novel, The Surrendered set in 1950s Korea



You’ve said that the inspiration for The Surrendered was something that happened to your father, who was a refugee during the Korean War. What happened, and how did it lead to the novel? Was anything else in the novel based on actual events?
Indeed the first chapter is very loosely based on something that happened to my father during the war: one night, his younger brother was killed in a terrible accident while they were riding on top of a refugee train. My father told only of the narrow details of the accident and so I had to fictionalize most all of the surrounding circumstances of action and character, which eventually, as inevitably happens in writing, led to other stories that I hadn’t originally conceived of or anticipated. This is the only part of the novel that was based on actual events.

Next year will mark the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. You’ve remarked, however, that your book is not so much a war novel as it is a story about the effects of mass conflict on the human psyche and spirit. Can you elaborate?
There is certainly much ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Chang-rae Lee at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

On Such a Full Sea
On Such a Full Sea

by Chang-rae Lee

Against a vividly imagined future America, Lee tells a stunning, surprising, and riveting story that will change the way readers think about the world they live in.
Read More

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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Chang-rae Lee but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Chris Bohjalian

    Chris Bohjalian

    Chris Bohjalian and his wife decided to leave New York City in 1986 for "pastoral" Vermont after a wild and terrifying 45-minute cab ride that ultimately dropped them at a crack house being stormed by police.
    ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Surrendered

    Try:
    The Sandcastle Girls
    by Chris Bohjalian

  • Jonathan Safran Foer

    Jonathan Safran Foer

    Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of the bestseller Everything Is Illuminated (2002), named Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and the winner of numerous awards, including the Guardian First Book Prize, the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    On Such a Full Sea

    Try:
    Everything Is Illuminated
    by Jonathan Safran Foer

We recommend 16 similar authors

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