The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee - review by Jonathan Mirsky

Jonathan Mirsky

Korea Moves

The Surrendered


Little, Brown 467pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

Chang-rae Lee has written two earlier novels that won important American prizes, and he teaches creative writing at Princeton University. But it is as if two authors with identical names wrote this book. One Chang-rae Lee tells an engrossing, even poignant story, only occasionally marring it with an unnecessary, fancy or incorrect word. The other Chang-rae Lee entangles the same story in a thicket of awful English.

For example, what does this sentence mean after its first clause? ‘The corner windows of her apartment faced north and west onto the stone-and-glass towers of Midtown, and through all the years she lived here she had never quite seen this depth of gleaming or coloration, the low

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