Free Food for Millionaires

By Min Jin Lee (Trade Paperback, 2008)
"Competence can be a curse." So begins Min Jin Lee's epic novel about class, society, and identity. Casey Han's four years at Princeton have given her many things: "a refined diction, an enviable golf handicap, a popular white boyfriend, an agnostic's closeted passion for reading the Bible, and a magna cum laude degree in economics. But no job and a number of bad habits."
Casey's parents, who live in Queens, are Korean immigrants working in a dry cleaner, desperately trying to hold onto their culture and identity. Their daughter, on the other hand, has entered into the upper echelon of rarified American society via scholarships. But after graduation, Casey's trust-fund friends see only opportunity and choices while Casey sees the reality of having expensive habits without the means to sustain them. As Casey navigates Manhattan, we see her life and the lives of those around her: her sheltered mother, scarred father, her friend Ella who's always been the good Korean girl, Ella's ambitious Korean husband and his Caucasian mistress, Casey's white fiancé, and then her Korean boyfriend, all culminating in a portrait of New York City and its world of haves and have-nots.
FREE FOOD FOR MILLIONAIRES offers up a fresh exploration of the complex layers we inhabit both in society and within ourselves. Inspired by 19th century novels such as Vanity Fair and Middlemarch, Min Jin Lee examines maintaining identity within changing communities. This is a remarkably assured debut from a writer to watch.
  • Grand Central Publishing
    • Format: Trade Paperback

    • Price: $13.99 US/$15.50 CAN

    • ISBN-13: 9780446699853

    • On Sale Date: 04/09/2008

    • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

    • Imprint: Grand Central Publishing

    Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Electronic Book, Electronic Book

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"Competence can be a curse." So begins Min Jin Lee's epic novel about class, society, and identity. Casey Han's four years at Princeton have given her many things: "a refined diction, an enviable golf handicap, a popular white boyfriend, an agnostic's closeted passion for reading the Bible, and a magna cum laude degree in economics. But no job and a number of bad habits."
Casey's parents, who live in Queens, are Korean immigrants working in a dry cleaner, desperately trying to hold onto their culture and identity. Their daughter, on the other hand, has entered into the upper echelon of rarified American society via scholarships. But after graduation, Casey's trust-fund friends see only opportunity and choices while Casey sees the reality of having expensive habits without the means to sustain them. As Casey navigates Manhattan, we see her life and the lives of those around her: her sheltered mother, scarred father, her friend Ella who's always been the good Korean girl, Ella's ambitious Korean husband and his Caucasian mistress, Casey's white fiancé, and then her Korean boyfriend, all culminating in a portrait of New York City and its world of haves and have-nots.
FREE FOOD FOR MILLIONAIRES offers up a fresh exploration of the complex layers we inhabit both in society and within ourselves. Inspired by 19th century novels such as Vanity Fair and Middlemarch, Min Jin Lee examines maintaining identity within changing communities. This is a remarkably assured debut from a writer to watch.

Min Jin Lee went to Yale, where she was awarded both the Wright Prize for Nonfiction and the Veech Prize for Fiction. Her work has also been featured on NPR's Selected Shorts and anthologized in To Be Real (Doubleday, 1995) and Breeder (Seal Press, 2001).
She lives in New York with her husband and son.

  • Free Food for Millionaires

  • Featuring subtly drawn characters and sensitive to the nuances of race and class, Free Food is a first-rate read... (People).

  • The best novel I've read in a long time. I'm sad to be finished and I desperately miss Casey Han... (SELF).

  • [A] noteworthy debut...Lee's take on contemporary intergenerational cultural friction is wide-ranging, sympathetic and well worth reading. (Publishers Weekly).

  • Lee's novel is ambitious and compulsively readable. She aims for the breadth of Balzac and the moral depth of "Middlemarch." (San Francisco Chronicle).

  • A stirring debut novel . . . Not since Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake has an author so exquisitely evoked what it's like to be an immigrant, and more specifically the children of immigrants, in our vastly competitive and socially delineated culture . . . when the novel ends, readers will long for another 560 pages so they can extend their love affair with Casey and Min Jin Lee, her amazingly talented creator. (USA Today).

  • Lee draws in the reader with likeably human, multidimensional characters and a subtly shifting, unpredictable plot. (The Washington Post).

  • An astounding, remarkable, readable debut from a talented writer. (The Washington Times).

Formats

Product Details

Free Food for Millionaires
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Price: $13.99 US/$15.50 CAN
  • Pages: 592
  • Physical Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • Audio Run Time: 0
  • ISBN-13: 9780446699853
  • On Sale Date: 04/09/2008
Free Food for Millionaires