AWP is Thrilled to Announce Min Jin Lee as #AWP23 Conference & Bookfair Keynote Speaker
August 18, 2022
Photo Credit: Beowulf Sheehan
AWP is thrilled to announce award-winning author and writer Min Jin Lee as the 2023 AWP Conference & Bookfair Keynote Speaker.
Min Jin Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to Queens, New York with her family when she was seven years old. She studied history at Yale College and law at Georgetown University. Lee practiced law for two years before turning to writing. She teaches fiction and essay writing at Amherst College and lives in New York City.
Lee is a writer whose award-winning fiction explores the intersection of race, ethnicity, immigration, class, religion, gender, and identity of a diasporic people. Pachinko, her second novel, is an epic story which follows a Korean family who migrates to Japan; it is the first novel written for an adult, English-speaking audience about the Korean-Japanese people. Pachinko was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the Medici Book Club Prize, and a New York Times 10 Best Books of 2017. A New York Times Bestseller, Pachinko was also a Top 10 Books of the Year for BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and the New York Public Library. Pachinko was a selection for “Now Read This,” the joint book club of PBS News Hour and The New York Times. It was on over seventy-five best books of the year lists, including NPR, PBS, and CNN. Pachinko has been translated into over thirty-five languages and is an international bestseller. President Barack Obama selected Pachinko for his recommended reading list, calling it “a powerful story about resilience and compassion.”
Lee’s debut novel Free Food for Millionaires (2007) was a Top 10 Books of the Year for The Times of London, NPR’s Fresh Air, USA Today, and a national bestseller.
Her writings have appeared in The New Yorker, NPR’s Selected Shorts, One Story, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, Condé Nast Traveler, The Times of London, Food & Wine, Vogue, and The Wall Street Journal. She served as a columnist for the Chosun Ilbo, the leading newspaper of South Korea.
Lee was named as an Adweek Creative 100 for being one of the “10 Writers and Editors Who are Changing the National Conversation,” and appears on the Frederick Douglass 200 list of people who best embody his spirit.
Min Jin Lee is the author of the novels Free Food for Millionaires and Pachinko, a finalist for the National Book Award, and runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Lee is the recipient of the 2022 Manhae Grand Prize for Literature from South Korea, the 2022 Bucheon Diaspora Literary Award, and the 2022 Samsung Happiness for Tomorrow Award for Creativity and fellowships in Fiction from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She is an inductee of the New York Foundation for the Arts Hall of Fame and the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. Lee is a Writer-in-Residence at Amherst College and serves as a trustee of PEN America and a director of the Authors Guild. She is at work on her third novel, American Hagwon, and a nonfiction work, Name Recognition.
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