Country of Origin by Don Lee
A Novel

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Synopsis

A dazzling debut novel by the prize-winning author of Yellow, set in the unique and exotic nightworld of Tokyo.

In this "poignant story of prejudice, betrayal and the search for identity" (Newsweek International), the trials and tribulations of these three remarkable characters are "at turns trenchantly funny and heartbreakingly sad" (Publishers Weekly). "[An] elegant and haunting debut" (Entertainment Weekly), Country of Origin is a "swirl of action, a whirl of love and sex and race and politics, local and international" (Chicago Tribune)—a "quiet literary triumph" (Booklist)




Lisa Countryman is a woman of complex origins. Half-Japanese, adopted by African American parents, she returns to Tokyo, ostensibly to research her thesis on Japan's "sad, brutal reign of conformity." When she vanishes, Tom Hurley, who is half-Korean and half-white, is assigned to her case at the American embassy, as is local cop Kenzo Ota, who is 100 percent Japanese but deemed an outsider.
 

About Don Lee

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Don Lee has received an American Book Award, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, an O. Henry Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the Fred R. Brown Literary Award. His stories have appeared in The Kenyon Review, GQ, The Southern Review, American Short Fiction, The Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere. For nineteen years, he was the principal editor of the literary journal Ploughshares. He is currently the director of the MFA program in creative writing at Temple University.
 
Published January 16, 2012 by W. W. Norton & Company. 323 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Country of Origin

Publishers Weekly

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Through the interlocking stories of Ota, Countryman and Hurley, Lee discourses on race, identity, the Japanese sex trade, social conventions and law.

| Read Full Review of Country of Origin: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

Originally posted Jul 16, 2004 Published in issue #774 Jul 16, 2004 Order article reprints

Jul 16 2004 | Read Full Review of Country of Origin: A Novel

ABC Perth

This is the territory where the Coen Brothers always get it so right, a piercing and dark movie from Cormac McCarthy’s novel, itself a pessimistic take on – or parody of – Elmore Leonard’s entire oeuvre.

Jan 24 2008 | Read Full Review of Country of Origin: A Novel

Reader Rating for Country of Origin
67%

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