“History has failed us, but no matter.”
Spanning several generations of a Korean family living in Japan during and after the Japanese occupation, Pachinko probes deep into questions of identity, nationality, language, and blood ties—often to devastating effect. Despite a sprawling family tree and a narrative that often jumps several years between chapters, Min Jin Lee excels at creating a sense of sharp specificity in each of her characters and scenes, achieving a kind of beautiful literary pointillism throughout. The result is an epic story dense with human experience and carried along by the powerful sweep of history. My most recommended read of 2018.