Korea: Lee swaps realism for fantasy

OnsuchafullseaReaders often expect particular traits from prolific authors. This holds true for Chang-rae Lee, whose charm has been the measured, introspective study of narrators seen in novels “Native Speaker” and “Aloft.”

While his restrained prose and deft storytelling remain, it’s welcome that the Korean-American author departs from realism and dips into dystopian fantasy in “On Such a Full Sea,” released in Korea earlier this month. Where previously he immersed into the inner lives of marginalized narrators, Lee envisions a bleak future America, pressing fast-forward on some of the current problems plaguing the country.

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