#WomenReadWomen2019 Adult Award-Winning Books Genre Lifespan of a Reader Literary Fiction Reading Themes Witches and Goddesses Dryads and Priestesses

Reading Pachinko Is Like Watching A K-Drama, Only Better

"Pachinko" by Min Jin Lee

Myra here.

Pachinko (Amazon | Book Depository)

Written by Min Jin Lee
Published by Apollo (2017)
ISBN: 1786691361 (ISBN13: 9781786691361). Literary Awards: National Book Award Finalist for Fiction (2017), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Historical Fiction (2017), International DUBLIN Literary Award Nominee (2019), Reading Women Award for Fiction (2017), Litsy Award for Historical Fiction (2017). Review copy provided by Pansing. Book quote layouts done via Typorama.

Full disclosure. I don’t really watch that many Koreanovelas or K-dramas, except for Meteor Garden and Jewel in the Palace sometime in the early 2000s. That being said, I still feel that this epic saga has all the elements that would make it a spell-binding TV series (the only reference I could manage given our reading theme, hehe): there is family drama that cuts across varied timelines; historical accounts (Japan conquering Korea) that humanize unspeakable atrocities, enslavement of an entire race, and the corruption of absolute power; and clear-faceted perceptions of honour, goodness, and the triumph of the human spirit.

There is also the women’s issues very subtly alluded to: the long-suffering wives, the self-abnegating women, and the mothers who sacrifice and risk everything for their families’ survival and well-being.

The above quote also shows how this is a story for people who are between cultures, whose voices are largely ignored or silenced, and whose very existence is merely tolerated because they are useful or serve a purpose in the dominant culture. A totally unforgettable story, indeed.

#WomenReadWomen2019: South Korea

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

1 comment on “Reading Pachinko Is Like Watching A K-Drama, Only Better

  1. Pingback: My 2019 Reading Stats and GatheringBooks 2020 Quarterly Reading Themes and #ReadIntl2020 – Gathering Books

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