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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

A Gesture Life

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A Gesture Life Cover

ISBN13: 9781573228282
ISBN10: 1573228281
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Lee elegantly creates suspense out of the seemingly static story of a man trying hard not to feel. He has written a wise and humane novel that both amplifies the themes of identity and exile he addressed in Native Speaker, and creates a wonderfully resonant portrait of a man caught between two cultures and two lives." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"Once againthis gifted young author has given us a beautifully tapestried story of seeking identity and acceptance in another culture while remaining separate from the tug of it....The mystery of Franklin Hata's careful and proper uninvolvement with life is slowly unraveled as he ruminates....Chang-rae Lee's elegant and lustrous prose is precisely right as the voice of this touching and troubling man." Verity Ludgate-Fraser, The Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"The accretion of wisdom in Lee's novel is stunning. He expertly evokes the collision of unacceptable truth with the illusion of workaday serenity. In Native Speaker Lee displayed an admirable, lyrical restraint in the face of emotional subject: the difficult and sometimes perilous process of becoming an American, and staying one, with the losses and gains that such a battle for identity entails. A Gesture Life is a beautiful, solitary, remarkably tender book that reveals the shadows that fall constantly from the past, the ones that move darkly on the lawns of the here and now." Andrew O'Hagan, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Once again, this gifted young author has given us a beautifully tapestried story of seeking identity and acceptance in another culture while remaining separate from the tug of it....The mystery of Franklin Hata's careful and proper uninvolvement with life is slowly unraveled as he ruminates....Chang-rae Lee's elegant and lustrous prose is precisely right as the voice of this touching and troubling man." Verity Ludgate-Fraser, The Christian Science Monitor

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

Chang-rae Lee is the author of Native Speaker, winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for first fiction, A Gesture Life, Aloft, and The Surrendered, winner of the Dayton Peace Prize and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Selected by The New Yorker as one of the twenty best writers under forty, Chang-rae Lee teaches writing at Princeton University.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

412Scott, December 15, 2013 (view all comments by 412Scott)
Without question, A Gesture Life contains an engrossing plot that unfurls the surprising and often bleak depths of the protagonist's earlier days. What is questionable, though, is how any author can write from Doc Hata's point of view and make the novel engaging from the start. It's a slow start as a reader, but worth plodding through what seems an old man's verbose reflections. Lee has crafted a novel truly guided through his protagonist's voice, a novel to grip and hold readers and writers alike. What seemed like too much in the earlier chapters becomes clearly necessary and meaningful once you finish the novel.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781573228282
Author:
Lee, Chang-rae
Publisher:
Riverhead Trade
Author:
Lee, Chang-Rae
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Women
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
Japanese Americans
Subject:
New York
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
World War, 19
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
New york (state)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
SP-185
Publication Date:
20001001
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.02x5.12x.96 in. .67 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Featured Titles

A Gesture Life Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Riverhead Trade - English 9781573228282 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Lee elegantly creates suspense out of the seemingly static story of a man trying hard not to feel. He has written a wise and humane novel that both amplifies the themes of identity and exile he addressed in Native Speaker, and creates a wonderfully resonant portrait of a man caught between two cultures and two lives."
"Review" by , "Once againthis gifted young author has given us a beautifully tapestried story of seeking identity and acceptance in another culture while remaining separate from the tug of it....The mystery of Franklin Hata's careful and proper uninvolvement with life is slowly unraveled as he ruminates....Chang-rae Lee's elegant and lustrous prose is precisely right as the voice of this touching and troubling man."
"Review" by , "The accretion of wisdom in Lee's novel is stunning. He expertly evokes the collision of unacceptable truth with the illusion of workaday serenity. In Native Speaker Lee displayed an admirable, lyrical restraint in the face of emotional subject: the difficult and sometimes perilous process of becoming an American, and staying one, with the losses and gains that such a battle for identity entails. A Gesture Life is a beautiful, solitary, remarkably tender book that reveals the shadows that fall constantly from the past, the ones that move darkly on the lawns of the here and now."
"Review" by , "Once again, this gifted young author has given us a beautifully tapestried story of seeking identity and acceptance in another culture while remaining separate from the tug of it....The mystery of Franklin Hata's careful and proper uninvolvement with life is slowly unraveled as he ruminates....Chang-rae Lee's elegant and lustrous prose is precisely right as the voice of this touching and troubling man."
"Synopsis" by , 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.
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