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A Gesture Life
Paperback - English

From the acclaimed author of "Native Speaker" comes his second novel about a Japanese World War II veteran who becomes a proper man and upstanding citizen in New York. As his life slowly unravels, he is transported back to his days as a medic in the Japanese army and his obsessive love for a young comfort woman. A "New York Times" Notable Book of the Year. ...The second novel from the critically acclaimed New York Times-bestselling author Chang-rae Lee.

His remarkable debut novel was called rapturous (The New York Times Book Review), revelatory (Vogue), and wholly innovative (Kirkus Reviews). It was the recipient of six major awards, including the prestigious Hemingway Foundation/PEN award. Now Chang-rae Lee has written a powerful and beautifully crafted second novel that leaves no doubt about the extraordinary depth and range of his talent.

A Gesture Life is the story of a proper man, an upstanding citizen who has come to epitomize the decorous values of his New York suburban town. Courteous, honest, hardworking, and impenetrable, Franklin Hata, a Japanese man of Korean birth, is careful never to overstep his boundaries and to make his neighbors comfortable in his presence. Yet as his story unfolds, precipitated by the small events surrounding him, we see his life begin to unravel. Gradually we learn the mystery that has shaped the core of his being: his terrible, forbidden love for a young Korean Comfort Woman when he served as a medic in the Japanese army during World War II.

In A Gesture Life, Chang-rae Lee leads us with dazzling control through a taut, suspenseful story about love, family, and community--and the secrets we harbor. As in Native Speaker, he writes of the ways outsiders conform in order to survive and the price they pay for doing so. It is a haunting, breathtaking display of talent by an acclaimed young author.

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Publication Date
20.37cm x 13.00cm x 2.44cm
Age Group
18 and above
College Freshman to UP
Lexile Level
About Author

Lee, Chang-Rae
Chang-Rae Lee was born in South Korea and immigrated to the United States with his family when he was three. A graduate of Yale College, he is an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Oregon.

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