Chang-Rae Lee (b. 1965)
Korean American novelist. When he was three, Lee and his family left South Korea for the United States, settling in Westchester, New York. He received his B.A. from Yale in 1987 and spent a year as an equities analyst before pursuing his M.F.A. at the University of Oregon. Lee’s first novel, Native Speaker (1995), examines a Korean American’s search for identity; his second, A Gesture Life (1999), focuses on a Japanese American, a former medic, who recalls treating “comfort women”— Korean women forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers in World War II. In Lee’s 2004 novel, Aloft, the main character is a wealthy white Long Island suburbanite, whose perspective allows Lee to approach issues of race and “Americanness” from new angles. Since 2002 Lee has taught creative writing at Princeton University. See also princeton.edu.