The Dialogue Society Book Group – Meeting 44: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Free to Attend


In this session of the Dialogue Society Book Group, we will explore Pachinko by Min Jin Lee on Tuesday, 10th January 2023.


Pachinko is the second novel by Harlem-based author and journalist Min Jin Lee. Published in 2017, Pachinko is an epic historical fiction novel following a Korean family who immigrate to Japan. The character-driven story features an ensemble of characters who encounter discrimination, stereotyping, and other aspects of the 20th-century Korean experience of Japan. Pachinko takes place between the years 1910 and 1989, a period that includes both the Japanese occupation of Korea and World War II. As a historical novel, these events play a central role in Pachinko, influencing many of the characters’ decisions.

Pachinko was a 2017 finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction. Apple Inc.’s streaming service Apple TV+ produced a television adaptation of the novel, and it was released in March 2022.

Min Jin Lee’s novel takes us through four generations and each character’s search for identity and success. It’s a powerful story about resilience and compassion

Barack Obama

Pachinko is about outsiders, minorities and the politically disenfranchised. But it is so much more besides. Each time the novel seems to find its locus – Japan’s colonization of Korea, World War II as experienced in East Asia, Christianity, family, love, the changing role of women – it becomes something else. It becomes even more than it was with interest

David Mitchell, The Guardian

An epic, multi-generational saga

Mail on Sunday, Best of 2017

About the Dialogue Society Book Group

The Dialogue Society Book Group explores the capacity of books to provide windows into different cultural and intercultural worlds. We will be choosing a series of quality novels to read and then to discuss together at relaxed, sociable gatherings at the Dialogue Society. Participants are welcome to suggest books for future sessions.

Participants will need to find a copy of the book chosen for each meeting and will need to read it prior to the meeting.

We will have a conversation about the book and our responses to it. Discussion may cover:

  • the quality of the storytelling
  • the authenticity and accuracy with which a historical/cultural situation is portrayed
  • our personal responses to it

You do not need to be an expert on literature or anything else to join in. The group should be enjoyable for anyone who enjoys a good book and likes discovering new ones.