Chang-rae Lee Analysis

Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

What are the reasons why, at the beginning of one of Chang-rae Lee’s first three novels, the protagonist’s love interest has decided to leave him?

What, in your opinion, is the importance of Lee’s Korean American background for his fiction?

In what ways does one of Lee’s protagonists express his initial emotional detachment from the world around him, including his loved ones?

What causes the downfall of politician John Kwang in Native Speaker?

Why is the protagonist of A Gesture Life unable to save the life of his Korean beloved in World War II?

What reasons does Theresa, Jack Battle’s daughter in Aloft, give for her decision not to agree to therapy for her cancer?

What are some of the elements linking all three protagonists of Lee’s first three novels?


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Case, Kristen. “Turbulence in Suburbia.” The New Leader 87, no. 2 (March/April, 2004): 26-28.

Chen, Tina. “Impersonation and Other Disappearing Acts in Native Speaker by Chang-rae Lee.” MFS: Modern Fiction Studies 48, no. 3 (Fall, 2002): 637-667.

Corley, Liam. “’Just Another Ethnic Pol’: Literary Citizenship in Chang-rae Lee’s Native Speaker.” Studies in the Literary Imagination 37, no. 1 (Spring, 2004): 61-82.

Engles, Tim. “’Visions of Me in the Whitest Raw Light’: Assimilation and Doxic Whiteness in Chang-rae Lee’s Native Speaker.” Hitting Critical Mass 4, no. 2 (1997): 27-48.

Lee, Rachel. “Reading Contests and Contesting Reading: Chang-rae Lee’s Native Speaker and Ethnic New York.” MELUS 29, nos. 3/4 (Fall/Winter, 2004): 341-353.

Magarian, Baret. “Guilty Secret.” New Statesman 129, no. 4478 (March 20, 2000): 56.

Park, You-Me, and Gayle Wald. “Native Daughters in the Promised Land: Gender, Race, and the Question of Separate Spheres.” In No More Separate Spheres!, edited by Cathy N. Davidson and Jessaym Hatcher. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2002.

Reese, Jennifer. “A Flight for Glory: A Father Tries to Connect with His Scattered Family in Chang-rae Lee’s Sparkling Aloft.” Entertainment Weekly no. 755 (March 12, 2004): 117.

Sayers, Valerie. “Little Comfort Given.” Commonweal 126, no. 22 (December 17, 1999): 19.