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The Surrendered
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Chang-rae Lee is the author of the bestselling novel Native Speaker, winner of the Hemingway Foundation/Pen award. He teaches at Princeton University.

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* A masterpiece, fit to stand alongside the greatest novels of the past twenty-five years

About the Author

Chang-rae Lee is the author of the bestselling novel Native Speaker, winner of the Hemingway Foundation/Pen award. He teaches at Princeton University.

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June Singer is a middle-aged Korean woman living in the United States and dying of cancer, but before she dies, she wants to accomplish two things: find her son, who is drifting around Italy, and make a redemptive pilgrimage to the Chapel of Bones. She enlists the unwilling help of Hector, her son's father, whom she hasn't seen since the 1950s, when she was a child in a Korean orphanage and Hector was an ex-soldier working as the handyman. Throughout June and Hector's painful journey, we learn about the Tanners, the couple who ran the orphanage; Sylvie Tanner's childhood as a daughter of missionaries who were slain in front of her; the possessive love that June and Hector had for Sylvie; and the resulting calamity that has haunted them their whole lives. VERDICT This is a completely engrossing story of great complexity and tragedy. Lee's (Aloft) ability to describe his characters' sufferings, both physical and mental, is extraordinarily vivid; one is left in awe of the human soul's ability to survive the most horrific experiences.-Joy Humphrey, Pepperdine Univ. Law Lib., Malibu, CA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Lee's masterful fourth novel (after Aloft) bursts with drama and human anguish as it documents the ravages and indelible effects of war. June Han is a starving 11-year-old refugee fleeing military combat during the Korean War when she is separated from her seven-year-old twin siblings. Eventually brought to an orphanage near Seoul by American soldier Hector Brennan, who is still reeling from his father's death, June slowly recovers from her nightmarish experiences thanks to the loving attention of Sylvie Tanner, the wife of the orphanage's minister. But Sylvie is irretrievably scarred as well, having witnessed her parents' murder by Japanese soldiers in 1934 Manchuria. These traumas reverberate throughout the characters' lives, determining the destructive relationship that arises between June, Hector and Sylvie as the plot rushes forward and back in time, encompassing graphic scenes of suffering, carnage and emotional wreckage. Powerful, deeply felt, compulsively readable and imbued with moral gravity, the novel does not peter out into easy redemption. It's a harrowing tale: bleak, haunting, often heartbreaking-and not to be missed. (Mar.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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