Fellowship / Fellows

Min Jin Lee

  • 2018–2019
  • Fiction & Poetry
  • Catherine A. and Mary C. Gellert Fellow
  • Independent Writer
Headshot of Min Jin Lee
Photo by Tony Rinaldo

This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.

Min Jin Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea, and grew up in Queens, New York. A graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, she studied history at Yale College, then received a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.

Lee is currently researching and writing her third novel, which explores the role of education for Koreans around the world for her diaspora trilogy The Koreans, which includes Free Food for Millionaires (Grand Central Publishing, 2007) and Pachinko (Grand Central Publishing, 2017).

A New York Times best seller, Pachinko was a finalist for the National Book Award and was named to more than 75 best books lists globally, including the top-10 lists of the BBC, the New York Public Library, the New York Times, and USA Today. Lee’s debut novel, Free Food for Millionaires, was a top-10 pick for NPR’s Fresh Air, the Times (London), and USA Today. Her writings about books, food, global affairs, and travel have appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, the Guardian, the New York Times Book Review, the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, the Times, the Times Literary Supplement, Travel + Leisure, Vogue, and the Wall Street Journal, and she served for three seasons as a columnist for the Chosun Ilbo, South Korea’s leading newspaper. Lee, a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow, received the 2000 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the 2002 William Peden Prize from the Missouri Review, and the 2004 NarrativePrize.

A Lifetime of Reading Taught Min Jin Lee How to Write About Her Immigrant World (New York Times, 4/7/21)

Researching and Writing History (Harvard Gazette, 3/6/19)

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