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Ethnic Korean Janice Y. K. Lee publishes second novel 'The Expatriates'

All News 16:59 January 19, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- Janice Y. K. Lee, a Korean-American novelist, has recently published her second book "The Expatriates" seven years after her debut novel "The Piano Teacher."

Lee has become an acclaimed novelist when her first novel shot to 11th on the New York Times fiction bestseller list less than two weeks after its publication in January 2009.

"The Piano Teacher" is a gripping tale of love, betrayal, safety and survival set in war-torn Hong Kong during World War II.

The book, first offered at the German Frankfurt Book Fair in 2007, was published in 21 languages in 23 countries and is expected to hit the author's native country soon.

The 44-year-old whose Korean name is Lee Yoon-kyung was born to Korean parents in Hong Kong, raised there and went to boarding school in the United States before attending Harvard University. She is a former features editor for the magazines Elle and Mirabella in New York.

The New York Times introduced Lee's new novel on Jan. 11 with a book review one day before its publication by Viking.

Describing Lee as a "female, funny Henry James in Asia," the newspaper said she is vividly good on the subject of Americans abroad.

"The Expatriates" is set, like her first book "The Piano Teacher," in Hong Kong, and the two books taken together are a rich education about almost a century of cruelty, exploitation, deep pockets and good parties in the city -- a setting that becomes a complicated character in its own right.

In her new book, Lee observes an affluent community of contemporary Westerners, but more specifically, those who "crossed over into that other country of motherhood," another foreign land requiring expatriation.

Upon the novel's publishing, Financial Times and other magazines such as Elle, Vanity Fair, Literary Review and Glamour have issued their own reviews, reflecting the public interest in and expectations of the novel.


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