Since Cheryl Pearl Sucher married a New Zealander in 1999, she has been living between two worlds: the Greater New York City area and the Hawkes Bay of New Zealand, two places that are about as far apart on the planet as one can travel. Though she has often felt torn between her very different lives, she has also felt that her life experience and artistic vision has been enhanced by living as both an insider and an outsider in such different but extraordinary places. This interview series is born out her experience between these worlds, and as a published fiction writer, bookseller, journalist, memoirist and avocational musical traveler.
On January 22nd, Cheryl talks to novelist Min Jin Lee, author of the National Book Award finalist Pachinko. Pachinko begins in the early 1900s, as teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant, and that her lover is married, she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.
Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko (2017) was a finalist for the National Book Award. A New York Timesbestseller, Pachinko is a Top 10 Books of the Year for The New York Times, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the BBC, CBC, the New York Public Library and the Chicago Public Library . Pachinko was on over six dozen best books of the year lists, including NPR, PBS, CNN, History channel, Vox, Esquire, Financial Times, Amazon, The Boston Globe, New Statesman, BuzzFeed, Chicago Tribune, Publishers Weekly, and The Irish Times. Lee’s debut novel Free Food for Millionaires (2007) was a No. 1 Book Sense Pick, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, a Wall Street Journal Juggle Book Club selection, and a national bestseller; it was a Top 10 Books of the Year for The Times of London, NPR’s Fresh Airand USA Today.
Cheryl Pearl Sucher is an award-winning journalist, essayist, reviewer and fiction writer who lives between Cranbury, New Jersey and the Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Ka Hua E Wha: The Southernmost Jewish Community in the World, her contribution to Jewish Lives in New Zealand was published in 2012 by Random House NZ and she has been a frequent contributing book reviewer and feature writer for The NZ Sunday Star-Times and The NZ Listener. Her first novel, The Rescue of Memory, was published by Scribner so long ago she has forgotten the exact date and an excerpt from her second novel in progress, Lost Cities, was published in 2013 in Printer's Row, the Chicago Tribune's literary supplement. From July 2013 to April 2016 she was one of four presenter/interviewers for New Zealand Hawkes Bay Television's half hour interview program CHATROOM.