To listen to the DoubleX Audio Book Club discussion of Chang-rae Lee's The Surrendered, click the arrow on the player below.
This week, the DoubleX Audio Book Club discusses The Surrendered, by Chang-rae Lee, author of Native Speaker, A Gesture Life, and Aloft. The novel follows the fate of three characters who met at an orphanage after the Korean War: June Han, an orphaned survivor; Hector Brennan, a hard-drinking "failure grand and total;" and Sylvie, the frail and elusive missionary's wife with whom the other two are obsessed.
Emily Bazelon wonders whether the prose is somewhat melodramatic and overwrought, and lacking the simple elegance of Lee's other novels. Margaret Talbot worries about the excessive brutality in the novel. Hanna Rosin defends Lee's masterful descriptions of carnality, in war and sex. All agree that the characters are quite compelling even if the novel is heavy.
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