Chang-rae Lee biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Chang-rae Lee

Chang-rae Lee

How to pronounce Chang-rae Lee: chong-ray lee

Chang-rae Lee Biography

Chang-rae Lee is the author of Native Speaker, winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN/Hemingway Award for first fiction; A Gesture Life; Aloft; The Surrendered, winner of the Dayton Peace Prize and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and On Such a Full Sea. Selected by the New Yorker as one of the "20 Writers for the 21st Century," Chang-rae Lee is a professor in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University and a Shinhan Distinguished Visiting Professor at Yonsei University.



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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.

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 in this ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Chang-rae Lee at BookBrowse
My Year Abroad jacket On Such a Full Sea jacket The Surrendered jacket
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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

  • Aravind Adiga

    Aravind Adiga

    Aravind Adiga is the author of The White Tiger, which was awarded the 2008 Man Booker Prize, Last Man in Tower, and a collection of stories, Between the Assassinations. He was born in India and attended Columbia and Oxford ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    My Year Abroad

    Try:
    The White Tiger
    by Aravind Adiga

  • Martin Amis

    Martin Amis

    Martin Amis is the son of another famous British novelist, Kingsley Amis, and although he credits his initial welcome into the publishing world to his father's influence, much has been written about this father and son ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Surrendered

    Try:
    The Zone of Interest
    by Martin Amis

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