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Other titles in the Penguin Drop Caps series:
Native Speaker (Penguin Drop Caps)by Chang-Rae Lee
Synopses & Reviews
From A to Z, the Penguin Drop Caps series collects 26 unique hardcovers — featuring cover art by Jessica Hische.
It all begins with a letter. Fall in love with Penguin Drop Caps, a new series of twenty-six collectible and hardcover editions, each with a type cover showcasing a gorgeously illustrated letter of the alphabet. In a design collaboration between Jessica Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley, the series features unique cover art by Hische, a superstar in the world of type design and illustration, whose work has appeared everywhere from Tiffany and Co. to Wes Anderson's recent film Moonrise Kingdom to Penguin's own bestsellers Committed and Rules of Civility. With exclusive designs that have never before appeared on Hische's hugely popular Daily Drop Cap blog, the Penguin Drop Caps series launches with six perennial favorites to give as elegant gifts, or to showcase on your own shelves.
L is for Lee. Korean American Henry Park is surreptitious, B+ student of life, illegal alien, emotional alien, Yellow peril: neo-American, stranger, follower, traitor, spy ” or so says his wife, in the list she writes upon leaving him. Henry is forever uncertain of his place, a perpetual outsider looking at American culture from a distance. And now, a man of two worlds, he is beginning to fear that he has betrayed both and belongs to neither. Chang-Rae Lee's first novel Native Speaker is a raw and lyrical evocation of the immigrant experience and of the question of identity itself.
"One of the year's most provocative and deeply felt first novels...a searing portrait of the immigrant experience." Vanity Fair
"With echoes of Ralph Ellison, Chang-rae Lee's extraordinary debut speaks for another kind of invisible man: the Asian immigrant in America...a revelatory work of fiction." Vogue
"The prose Lee writes is elliptical, riddling, poetic, often beautifully made." The New Yorker
"Deft, delicate....The book's narrative is lyrical, its plot compelling....The novel's interwoven plots and themes, its slew of singular characters, and Henry's ongoing recollections and reflections are rich and enticing." Boston Globe
"A tender meditation on love, loss, and family." The New York Times Book Review
In Native Speaker, author Chang-Rae Lee introduces readers to Henry Park. Park has spent his entire life trying to become a true American a native speaker. But even as the essence of his adopted country continues to elude him, his Korean heritage seems to drift further and further away.
Park's harsh Korean upbringing has taught him to hide his emotions, to remember everything he learns, and most of all to feel an overwhelming sense of alienation. In other words, it has shaped him as a natural spy.
But the very attributes that help him to excel in his profession put a strain on his marriage to his American wife and stand in the way of his coming to terms with his young son's death. When he is assigned to spy on a rising Korean-American politician, his very identity is tested, and he must figure out who he is amid not only the conflicts within himself but also within the ethnic and political tensions of the New York City streets.
Native Speaker is a story of cultural alienation. It is about fathers and sons, about the desire to connect with the world rather than stand apart from it, about loyalty and betrayal, about the alien in all of us and who we finally are.
About the Author
Chang-Rae Lee is the author of A Gesture Life, Native Speakers, Aloft and The Surrendered. He won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, among other honors, for his novel Native Speaker, and was selected by the New Yorker as one of the twenty best American writers under forty. His novels have also won Asian American Literary Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and other awards. The Surrendered was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He lives in New Jersey with his family.
Jessica Hische is a letterer, illustrator, typographer, and web designer. She currently serves on the Type Directors Club board of directors, has been named a Forbes Magazine "30 under 30" in art and design as well as an ADC Young Gun and one of Print Magazine's "New Visual Artists". She has designed for Wes Anderson, McSweeney's, Tiffany and Co, Penguin Books and many others. She resides primarily in San Francisco, occasionally in Brooklyn.
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