In Native Speaker, author Chang-rae Lee introduces readers to Henry Park. Park has spent his entire life trying to become a true Americana 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. ... show more
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.
Publish date: March 1st 1996
Publisher: Riverhead Trade
Pages no: 368
Edition language: English
, Book Club
, Read For School
, Literary Fiction
, Asian Literature
, New York
I cannot believe this novel is 30 years old. I don't know how Chang-rae Lee made a story so steeped in the specific experience of Korean-american families feel so personal to very different audiences. I can't believe he did it all in a spy story. But, here it is, his first novel, Native Speaker and ...
Chang Rae-Lee is raking it in. 'Native Speaker' has been picked up by the ethnic studies mafia that operates in US universities, and so hundreds if not thousands of people have to read this book every year. what a genius !that said, at least Native Speaker is a pretty good read. it gets skippy at po...
I have never liked a book so much without knowing why exactly.