Chang-rae Lee was born in Seoul, Korea, in 1965 and immigrated with his family to the United States at the age of three. Lee's father was a physician who built a prosperous psychiatric practice in Westchester County, New York. Lee grew up there in a bilingual household and was graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, from Yale University with a degree in English, and from the University of Oregon with an M.F.A. in creative writing. Upon graduation from Yale, Lee analyzed stocks on Wall Street for a year before fully devoting himself to his passion for writing. Lee has received numerous prestigious awards for his two novels, Native Speaker and A Gesture Life, which explore the modern Asian immigrant experience. He has also written stories and articles for the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Granta, and other magazines. Lee was a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow in 2000-2001; was named a finalist for Granta's Best American Novelists Under 40 in 1996; and was selected by the New Yorker as one of twenty best American writers under forty in 1999. He currently serves as director of the M.F.A. Program at Hunter College of CUNY, where he teaches writing workshops and seminars in literature and is working on his third novel, about a group of U.S. soldiers in Korea during the Korean War. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter.
Chang-rae Lee's fiction explores the modern Asian immigrant experience. Though not particularly autobiographical, Lee's novels and short stories and essays draw from the author's own experiences as a Korean immigrant. A short story, “My Low Korean Master, ” which has a similar structure and