KGB: Behind the Book

April 13, 2017
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Min Jin Lee’s profoundly moving and gracefully told tour de force, Pachinko, follows one Korean family through the generations, in exile from a homeland they never knew and caught in the indifferent arc of history.  A national bestseller, Pachinko is a New York Times Editor’s Choice, an American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next Great Reads, and a February Book of the Month for Amazon.  Her debut novel, Free Food for Millionaires, was named one of the Top 10 Novels of the Year by The Times of London, NPR’s Fresh Air, and USA Today.  Her short fiction has been featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts.  Her writings have appeared in The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, The Times of London, Vogue, Travel+Leisure, Wall Street Journal, and Food & Wine.  Her essays and literary criticism have been anthologized widely, and she has served as a columnist for the Chosun Ilbo, the leading paper of South Korea.  She has received the NYFA Fellowship for Fiction, the Peden Prize from The Missouri Review for Best Story, and the Narrative Prize for New and Emerging Writer.  She went to Yale College where she was awarded both the Henry Wright Prize for Nonfiction and the James Ashmun Veech Prize for Fiction.  She attended law school at Georgetown University and worked as a lawyer for several years in New York prior to writing full time.  She lives in New York City with her family.

“In 1930s Korea, an earnest young woman, abandoned by the lover who has gotten her pregnant, enters into a marriage of convenience that will take her to a new life in Japan. Thus begins Lee’s luminous new novel PACHINKO—a powerful meditation on what immigrants sacrifice to achieve a home in the world. PACHINKO confirms Lee’s place among our finest novelists.”
– Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and This Is How You Lose Her

Cara Hoffman is the author of the newly released, Running, a dark and breathtaking novel of love, friendship, and survival set in the red light district of Athens in the 1980s that Garth Greenwall calls “a ferocious, brilliant book.” She is also the author of the critically acclaimed novels Running, So Much Pretty, and Be Safe I Love You.  She has written for The New York Times, The Paris Review, Electric Literature, Marie Claire, Salon, LitHub, and National Public Radio, and is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades including a Folio Prize nomination, and a Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Award, and a MacDowell Fellowship. Originally from Northern Appalachia, Cara dropped out of high school and spent the next three years travelling and working in Europe and the Middle East.  She did not go to college, became a newspaper reporter covering crime and environmental politics, and later attended graduate school at Goddard College, selling her first novel So Much Pretty, before receiving an MFA in 2009.  She has been a visiting writer at Columbia, St. John’s, and University of Oxford, and currently teaches in the Stonecoast low residency MFA program at the University of Southern Maine.

“Hoffman impressively evokes the combination of nihilism, idealism, rootlessness, psychic and economic necessity, lust and love that might set a young person adrift. Unlike the runaway heroes of many queer narratives these characters are not cast out but looking to get lost...The Athens on display here is peopled with rebels and runaways of all kinds, idealists, revolutionary operatives, con men, wayward young scholars, squatters...In Bridey and Milo Hoffman has created memorable anti-heroes: tough and resourceful scarred, feral and sexy. The book and the characters refuse to conform and Running like all good outlaw literature takes sharp aim at the contemporary culture’s willingness to do so.”
– The New York Times Book Review