Friday, February 19, 2021

Chang-Rae Lee discusses MY YEAR ABROAD, one of the most anticipated books of the year




Chang-rae Lee is the author of Native Speaker, winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for first fiction, as well as On Such a Full Sea, A Gesture Life, Aloft, and The Surrendered, winner of the Dayton Peace Prize and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He teaches writing at Stanford University.




"Native Speaker, Lee's ground-breaking debut, paved the way for an entire generation of novelists responding to the ever-changing face of America, myself included. For a quarter century now, from book to book, he has explored the ever-urgent themes of alienation, assimilation, and identity with unmatched assurance and acuity. He has redefined not only what it means to be American, but the fabric of the Great American Novel itself." — JHUMPA LAHIRI


ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF THE YEAR

MY YEAR ABROAD

FROM AWARD-WINNING & CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED AUTHOR OF

NATIVE SPEAKER, A GESTURE LIFE, ALOFT, THE SURRENDERED & ON SUCH A FULL SEA

CHANG-RAE LEE




“An extraordinary book, acrobatic on the level of the sentence, symphonic across its many movements—and this is a book that moves…My Year Abroad is a wild ride—a caper, a romance, a bildungsroman, and something of a satire of how to get filthy rich in rising Asia.” —VOGUE.COM

“Chang-rae Lee's electric new novel has the kind of kinetic energy that makes reading it feel like a full body experience, leaving you wondering and in awe of where exactly it will take you next… a virtuosic, wildly original book — one that cements Lee's status as one of the most exciting writers working today.” —REFINERY29

“Dickens meets globalism in this new work from one of our most celebrated writers.” —OPRAHMAG.COM


“This literary whirlwind has Lee running on all cylinders.”—«PUBLISHERS WEEKLY«


“Lee is supreme, and this high-velocity, shocking, and wise novel…is emitting an irresistible magnetic force.” —«BOOKLIST«


“Lee is masterful from passage to passage…A sage study in how readily we’re undone by our appetites.” —KIRKUS REVIEWS


“My Year Abroad is a novel of astonishing wit and wisdom and scope, a globe-spanning story about those powerful first youthful encounters with love and evil and heartbreak and beauty. It’s also, by the way, enormously fun to read.

Chang-rae Lee is, clearly, a master.” —NATHAN HILL


“With great generosity, and in a searching, democratic spirit, Chang-rae Lee describes the enticements, mirages, pleasures and catastrophes that attend not only the pursuit of wealth but the pursuit of happiness in all its forms, romantic, domestic, and, yes, gustatory. In Pong Lou, he has given American literature a character who deserves his place among other tragic dreamers, from Gatsby to J.R.” —JEFFREY EUGENIDES

WITH VIRTUAL EVENTS SCHEDULED THROUGHOUT FEBRUARY 2021

A deeply influential writer about race, class and immigrant life in America, Chang-rae Lee has built a dazzling reputation as “a spellbinder” (The Hartford Courant), “a master craftsman” (The Washington Post), and “one of our most silken storytellers” (The Boston Globe) and been honored with top prizes including a PEN/Hemingway Prize, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Asian American Literary Award, Pulitzer finalist and Neustadt International Prize for Literature nomination. After the publication of his last novel On Such a Full Sea the Los Angeles Times declared: “Who is a greater novelist than Chang-rae Lee today?”

Already named one of the most anticipated books of 2021 by Vogue.com, OprahMag.com, CNN and more, MY YEAR ABROAD (On sale February 2, 2021) marks Lee’s return to the bright, rich exuberance that first made his name 25 years ago on Riverhead's very first list, with Native Speaker.

At the heart of MY YEAR ABROAD is Tiller, an unassuming college student whose ordinary life is turned upside down when he embarks on a wild trip around the globe with a charismatic, irresistible Chinese American business man named Pong. With Pong's richly varied interests and skills, enviable resources, and loyal circle of friends and business partners, he represents a life that Tiller has never imagined. Tiller is catapulted into a world of luxury, but in the process he's pulled into a series of wholly unexpected experiences--some humorous, some heartbreaking, some darkly shocking, and all of which will alter the course of his life. A year later, he finds himself living with an older woman and her son, and quickly slips from one life to another as he processes all he's experienced. Told in alternating storylines, Tiller's tale weaves back and forth between his outlandish, memorable year with Pong, and the domestic adulthood that replaces it.

As we observe Lee’s vibrant cast of characters eat, drink, work and play to the extreme, we’re left to wonder: Why are we so hungry? What are we so yearning from this world and this life, and what might we do in our desperate search for it? In prose that is endlessly energetic and tender, MY YEAR ABROAD is at once funny, profound, and moving as it explores contemporary ideas of cultural immersion, capitalism, racial stereotypes and even mental health – all with that startlingly imaginative writing readers expect from Chang-rae Lee.


ABOUT
Chang-rae Lee is the author of Native Speaker, winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for first fiction, as well as On Such a Full Sea, A Gesture Life, Aloft, and The Surrendered, winner of the Dayton Peace Prize and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He teaches writing at Stanford University.


MY YEAR ABROAD • Chang-rae Lee • Riverhead Book





Coming up May 8th 9:00am - Tom Seeman's forthcoming book, ANIMALS I WANT TO SEE: A Memoir of Growing Up in the Projects and Defying the Odds

LISTEN “When Tom Seeman told me the story of his childhood, I immediately said that he should write it all down and share it with the world....