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Publisher's Summary

Casey Han's four years at Princeton gave her many things, "But no job and a number of bad habits." Casey's parents, who live in Queens, are Korean immigrants working for a dry cleaner while desperately trying to hold on to their culture and identity. Their daughter, on the other hand, has entered into rarified American society via scholarships. But after graduation, Casey discovers the reality of having expensive habits without the means to sustain them. As she attempts to navigate Manhattan, we explore her life and New York City's milieu of haves and have-nots. Free Food for Millionaires offers up a fresh assessment of the complex layers we inhabit, both in society and within ourselves. In this remarkably assured debut, inspired by 19th-century novels such as Vanity Fair and Middlemarch, Min Jin Lee examines the difficulty of maintaining one's identity within changing communities.
©2007 Min Jin Lee (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Noteworthy....Wide-ranging, sympathetic, and well worth reading." ( Publishers Weekly)
" Free Food for Millionaires stakes out new ground for 21st-century American literature, territory both profoundly enlightening and utterly enjoyable." (David Henry Hwang, playwright, M. Butterfly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Michael Jablow on 07-14-07

free food for thought - beautifully satisfying

I have grown a bit wary of novels that describe quirky families and attempt to turn the psycho dramatics of relationships into entertainment . In broad strokes these books sometimes lack a depth missing descriptions of the inner turmoil that underlies behavior. This novel succeeds on every level, FFFM is a revelation. Characters are drawn with a brutally compassionate wisdom and detail that brings them to life. Although, the story revolves around the Korean American , recent Ivy League grad, Casey Han, as she moves from college into the "real" world we become intimately familiar with the network of people that touch her life. Each one of these becomes 3-D and real with unique motives, limitations and hopes. Each personal experience reflected with dignity thus, earning earning my compassion. Ms Lee addresses the larger issues of race, class and the affect they have on our self image and soul to the still larger issues OF LOVE, RELIGION, FAITH, that commonly manifest for most of us human creatures as we go about living our life . Ms Lee has sensitively describes the especially awkward time of moving from college age into the adult world; from "knowing things" we learned into "knowing" from experience.. Lee is an artist of the first magnitude she has the emotional genius to be able to write with a "spiritually evolved" open heart, giving her the ability to use the lightest touch to challenge her readers with the deepest of ideas. WHAT A GIFT!!! I will wait impatiently for her next book. In the interim I will miss the characters of this beautiful book wondering what happens to them next, they feel like friends. This audio book is right at the top---with Bryce Courtney, James Herriot and a few others. Lee can be ranked with the talented Pulitizer winner J. Lahiri (THE NAMeSAKE) in writing insightfully about the American immigrant experience.

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22 of 24 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Charlotte on 08-27-10

Interesting look at the Korean-American experience

While this book provided an interesting look at the Korea-American experience, it felt like a series of linked stories rather than a novel. The beginning was the most intriguing - some later chapters were almost unbelievable and it went on too long. Much of the character development seems unmotivated. The narrator made numerous mistakes in pronunciation. Doesn't anyone listen to or edit the resulting audio? It can be really distracting.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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