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Native Speaker

Native Speaker

Chang-rae Lee - Author

Paperback | $16.00 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9781573225311 | 368 pages | 01 Mar 1996 | Riverhead | 5.15 x 7.99in | 18 - AND UP
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Awards
  • PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Novel
    Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award
    QPB New Visions Award
    American Book Award
    Oregon Book Award
    PEN/West Translation Award: Finalist
    ALA Notable Book
    Granta Award: Finalist
Summary of Native Speaker Summary of Native Speaker Reviews for Native Speaker An Excerpt from Native Speaker

The debut novel from critically-acclaimed and New York Times–bestselling author Chang-rae Lee.

In Native Speaker, author Chang-rae Lee introduces readers to Henry Park. Park has spent his entire life trying to become a true American—a native speaker. But even as the essence of his adopted country continues to elude him, his Korean heritage seems to drift further and further away.

Park's harsh Korean upbringing has taught him to hide his emotions, to remember everything he learns, and most of all to feel an overwhelming sense of alienation. In other words, it has shaped him as a natural spy.

But the very attributes that help him to excel in his profession put a strain on his marriage to his American wife and stand in the way of his coming to terms with his young son's death. When he is assigned to spy on a rising Korean-American politician, his very identity is tested, and he must figure out who he is amid not only the conflicts within himself but also within the ethnic and political tensions of the New York City streets.

Native Speaker is a story of cultural alienation. It is about fathers and sons, about the desire to connect with the world rather than stand apart from it, about loyalty and betrayal, about the alien in all of us and who we finally are.

His most recent book, On Such a Full Sea, will be published in January 2014.
 



"One of the year's most provocative and deeply felt first novels...a searing portrait of the immigrant experience."—Vanity Fair

"With echoes of Ralph Ellison, Chang-rae Lee's extraordinary debut speaks for another kind of invisible man: the Asian immigrant in America...a revelatory work of fiction."—Vogue

"The prose Lee writes is elliptical, riddling, poetic, often beautifully made."—The New Yorker

"Deft, delicate...The book's narrative is lyrical, its plot compelling...The novel's interwoven plots and themes, its slew of singular characters, and Henry's ongoing recollections and reflections are rich and enticing."—Boston Globe

"A tender meditation on love, loss, and family."—The New York Times Book Review


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