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Extended Audio Sample Free Food for Millionaires: A Novel Audiobook, by Min Jin Lee Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.18 out of 53.18 out of 53.18 out of 53.18 out of 53.18 out of 5 3.18 (11 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Min Jin Lee Narrator: Shelly Frasier Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2007 ISBN: 9781400174607
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Lee’s take on contemporary intergenerational cultural friction is wide-ranging, sympathetic, and well worth reading.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “With very broad strokes and great detail, Lee paints colorful three-dimensional characters and outlines intergenerational and cultural struggles brilliantly.”


  • Free Food for Millionaires stakes out new ground for twenty-first century American literature, territory both profoundly enlightening and utterly enjoyable.”

    David Henry Hwang, playwright, M. Butterfly

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brandy | 4/26/2011

    " Great read! Characters are deep and interesting, real people with flaws. i had a hard time putting it down. I couldn't wait to see how it all came out in the end!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cassie | 4/8/2011

    " I could not put this down. Very dramatic and tense. Well told though not literary. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Greg | 3/14/2011

    " Whoops, I stumbled into some chick lit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 2/12/2011

    " This was such a good book about an Asian girl who struggles with her family and American ways. I read it many years ago and thought it very well written and touching. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Steven | 2/8/2011

    " It's not bad, and in fact at times it's quite good. At other times, unfortunately, the writing is a bit too reminiscent of harlequin romances. (I should know. I read those, too.) I'd say Free Food for Millionaires is worth a read, though. You could spend your spare time on worse than this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 1/20/2011

    " Ok book. Not a lot of action but the main character is a bit of a slut, so that leads to some titilating passages. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 SueGoCo | 1/18/2011

    " meh.
    Got better as it went along. I had to make myself read the second half, after the first half. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ed | 1/15/2011

    " I finished this tiresome story hoping for some insight into the story of a first generation Korean immigrant in NYC. In my opinion you could have just inserted Jewish, Italian, Greek etc. The story was one cliche after another updated perhaps for the fact that this is now the 21st century. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rosemarie | 12/28/2010

    " Fabulous chick lit.
    Incredible observations about Korean church culture.

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clara | 12/4/2010

    " scarily true-to-life, except for all the adultery. I mean, really? the choir director? LOL. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dr. Robin M. Chandler | 12/1/2010

    " Fast read. Insightful autobiography(?) of second generation Korean class and generation issues. "

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About the Author
Author Min Jin Lee

Min Jin Lee is a writer whose debut novel, Free Food for Millionaires, was one of the “Top 10 Novels of the Year” for the Times (London), NPR’s Fresh Air, and USA Today. Her short fiction has been featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts. Her writings have appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Times (London), Vogue, Travel+Leisure, Wall Street Journal, New York Times Magazine, and Food & Wine. Her essays and literary criticism have been anthologized widely. She served as a columnist for the Chosun Ilbo, the leading paper of South Korea.

About the Narrator

Shelly Frasier has appeared in many independent film and theater projects in Arizona and Southern California and has done voice-over work for commercials and animation projects. She trained at the Groundlings Improv School in Hollywood and South Coast Repertory’s Professional Conservatory in Costa Mesa, California. She has performed at theaters throughout North Hollywood and Orange County. Recent performances include Blue Window, The Battle of Bull Run Always Makes Me Cry, The Haunting of Hill House, and a British farcical version of A Christmas Carol. She resides in Hollywood.