A Gesture Life (1999) by Chang-rae Lee


Critical Assessment "Lee's portrayal of Hata is written in unfashionably decorous prose, a language so fine and poised that its carefully situated eruptions seem even more radical. (When the absence of simple courtesies can seem viscerally disturbing, you know you're in the hands of a virtuoso.) There are flourishes of language and lovely summaries of character that seem from time to time like the last lines of a torch song. Lee takes on history, war and peace, life and death, the class system, the ghosts of American progress, the family, aging and unresolved international war crimes. . . . His novel [...]