Library of Congress

National Book Festival

After graduating from prep school, Chang-rae Lee entered Yale University in 1983. He majored in English and wrote short stories on his own time, but he never showed them to anyone. He took a job on Wall Street in 1987, but the work was unfulfilling, so he resigned and decided to work on a novel. That novel was never published, but his next one, "Native Speaker," was. "Native Speaker" won the American Book Award and the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. The New Yorker and Granta magazines once named him one of the 20 best American writers under 40. The New York Times said, "The book has been acclaimed as a lyrical, edgy and perceptive tale of the second-generation foreigner, the child of immigrants stranded in a no-man's-land between the old culture and the new." His new novel is "Surrendered" (Penguin, Riverhead).

Previous National Book Festival Appearances

Chang-rae Lee

Photo by David Burnett