Narrative 10

We caught up with former Narrative Prize winner Min Jin Lee as she marks the publication of her new novel Pachinko.

1. Who is your favorite character in fiction; your fave character in life?

Jane Eyre, my literary heroine; Sam Duffy, my son.

2. Your favorite line (that you or someone else wrote) that continues to inspire you?

I once heard in a sermon, “Choose the important over the urgent.”

3. What story, book, or poem do you wish you could read again for the first time? What did it teach you?

Reading Turgenev by William Trevor. I have never seen yearning dramatized so perfectly.

4. Best part of the day?


5. Your cure for when the spirit flags?


6. Ten words you use most on the page? In life?

Hello. I hope this finds you well. Thank you. Best.

7. What’s your current obsession?

Limiting distractions.

8. What’s the most useful criticism you’ve ever received?

Write like you are talking.

9. What did you know at age twelve that you wish you hadn’t forgotten; and/or what do you know now that you wish you knew then?

When I was twelve, I knew my place in the world, and that was okay.

10. To quote Auden, “O tell me the truth about love.” We’re all ears.

Love requires great forbearance.

Finally, is there a line from the new book you’d like to share with our readers?

“History has failed us, but no matter.”
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