Min Jin Lee
“These are excellent works of literature—essays, memoir, short stories, and novels. I recommend these books, because each is written with a strong command of narrative, style, tone, and voice. Each are inimitable and unforgettable. I hope you love them, too.”
Min Jin Lee is a recipient of fellowships in Fiction from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. Her novel Pachinko was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, a runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the Medici Book Club Prize, and was one of the New York Times' "Ten Best Books of 2017." A New York Times bestseller, Pachinko was also one of the "Ten Best Books" of the year for BBC and the New York Public Library, and a "best international fiction" pick for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. In total, it was on over seventy-five best books of the year lists, including NPR, PBS, and CNN, and it was a selection for Now Read This, the joint book club of PBS NewsHour and the New York Times. Pachinko was translated into twenty-seven languages. Lee's debut novel Free Food for Millionaires (2007) was one of the best books of the year for the Times of London, NPR's Fresh Air, and USA Today, and it was a national bestseller. Her writings have appeared in the New Yorker, NPR's Selected Shorts, One Story, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian, Condé Nast Traveler, the Times of London, and the Wall Street Journal. Lee served three consecutive seasons as a Morning Forum columnist of the Chosun Ilbo of South Korea. In 2018, she was named as one of Adweek's Creative 100 for being one of the "ten writers and editors who are changing the national conversation," and one of the Guardian's Frederick Douglass 200. She received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Monmouth College. She was a Writer-in-Residence at Amherst College from 2019-2022.
“As a reader I'm attracted to urgency. Not so much urgency in the sense of “fast-paced” (though that can be great too) but that feeling you get when from the first page the book vibrates in your hands, you can feel the author going, I'm telling you something real! Please, listen to me. This smattering of queer novels, stories, and essay collections all carry that sense of urgency.”
Casey Plett is the author of the novel Little Fish and the short story collection A Safe Girl to Love. She is the winner of the Amazon First Novel Award, the Firecracker Award for Fiction, and two-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award for transgender fiction. She co-edited Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy From Transgender Writers which won the ALA Stonewall Barbara Gittings Literature Award, and has written for The New York Times, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Maclean's, and them, among other publications.
“Being queer saved my life. Often we see queerness as deprivation. But when I look at my life, I saw that queerness demanded an alternative innovation from me. I had to make new routes; it made me curious; it made me ask, 'Is the heteronormative standard enough for me? Is it truly, as I've been told, more fruitful—even for straight folks?' Luckily, I found other paths, and I found them, in part, through these books."
Ocean Vuong is the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds and the New York Times bestselling novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. A recipient of the 2019 MacArthur "Genius" Grant, he is also the winner of the Whiting Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize. His writings have been featured in The Atlantic, Harper's Magazine, The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.