pachinko review

Pachinko: A Review

PachinkoSet against the backdrop of Japanese occupation,
Min Jin Lee‘s Pachinko tells an earnest and heartfelt saga that encompasses nearly 80 years in the lives of one family. The story follows Sunja, the daughter of a Korean innkeeper, who marries a virtual stranger after a love affair with an older man leaves her pregnant and adrift. What could devolve into either melodrama or tawdriness does neither, as Pachinko deftly examines the little generosities that even the worst among us are capable of. Continue reading

human acts review

Human Acts: A Review

Human ActsIn May 1980, the South Korean military fired upon students demonstrating against the closing of a university in Gwangju. The next two weeks saw militias and grieving mothers alike organizing to protest the brutality of the country’s de facto president, Chun Doo-hwan. Human Acts, the third of Han Kang‘s novels to be translated into English, centers on a single death in the weeks of violence: that of Dong-ho, a middle school student killed in the military’s last attack on civilians. Continue reading