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Bestselling Author of 'Pachinko' Draws Large Crowd at Concordia College PDF Print Email

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By Margaret Mager, President, and Irena Choi Stern, Publicity Chair, Friends of the Bronxville Public Library


Feb. 7, 2018: There was no mistaking the size of the crowd that gathered in Concordia College’s Sommer Center on January 23 to hear Min Jin Lee, author of the bestselling novel Pachinko, a finalist for the National Book Award and one of the New York Times’s Top 10 Books of 2017. Nearly 350 community members attended the conversation with the author, conducted by Sissel McCarthy, distinguished lecturer and director of the journalism program at Hunter College.  

A free event sponsored by the Friends of the Bronxville Public Library ("FOBPL"), the evening began with a welcome by Concordia College’s President Rev. Dr. John A. Nunes and introductions by Margaret Mager, president of the FOBPL.

Originally scheduled for the Yeager Room of the Bronxville Public Library, the enthusiastic response led to Concordia’s generous offer to accommodate the 400 registrants in the Sommer Center. Concordia’s senior director of community relations, Joyce Kennedy, arranged to videotape the event, and it can be viewed here or on the Bronxville Village cable channel, daily at 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm. 

“We were treated to a special evening of literary analysis thanks to the insightful exchange between Sissel and Min Jin,” Mager said. “Prejudice, discrimination, and the stereotyping of immigrants and refugees were key themes in Pachinko. With 66 million refugees worldwide, and profound changes in US immigration policies unfolding before our eyes, these themes are prescient and resonated with the audience.” 


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For the next five months, Lee’s calendar is jam-packed as she continues on a worldwide book tour because the readership of Pachinko has gone global. “Pachinko has universal appeal because it chronicles not only the hardship and discrimination faced by immigrants everywhere but also the strength and goodness of the human spirit,” said Sissel McCarthy, who asked Min about her own experience moving from South Korea to Elmhurst, Queens, at age seven. Many agreed that the conversation with the down-to-earth author elevated the audience beyond a discussion of the book itself. 

“The evening was extraordinary in every sense of the word,” said Bronxville resident Linda Smith-Shearer. “Min Jin Lee was such a warm, intelligent, perceptive, wise, charming, and inspiring woman, not to mention a woman with a delightful sense of humor (always impressed with someone for whom English is not their first language). I couldn’t put the book down and have now just downloaded her first so I can be up-to-date when #3 is published.” 

Gene and Alex Sgarlata of Womrath Bookshop held a book sale and signing following the event, and a few signed copies are still available at the store. The third book in Min’s Korea trilogy will be about the hyper-competitive academic culture. 

The Friends of the Bronxville Public Library plans to bring more authors to Bronxville and may look into organizing an annual community read for area book clubs combined with a January author visit. To support FOBPL’s future programming, click here.

Pictured here (from top):  Author Min Jin Lee (L) with Sissel McCarthy; the crowd at the event.

Photos by Irena Choi Stern

Editor's note:  As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes press releases, statements, and articles from local institutions, legislators, and candidates. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. 



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Cristle Collins Judd, 11th President of Sarah Lawrence College, Reflects on First Year

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By Carol P. Bartold, Senior Reporter Nov. 21, 2018: From its intimate 44-acre campus in Yonkers, also in the Bronxville zip code, Sarah Lawrence College has created a rather...

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Adult Education Directory

Bronxville Adult School

About the Bronxville Adult School & Contacts

The Bronxville Adult School is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1957 and chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. The School "offers all adults of Bronxville and surrounding communities the opportunity for personal growth through life enhancing skills and provides cultural, intellectual and recreational stimulation at a nominal cost."

The Bronxville Adult School
(914) 793-4435
email: adultschool@bronxvilleschool.org
www.bronxvilleadultschool.org
P.O. Box 334, Bronxville NY 10708


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Bronxville Public Library

Bronxville Public Library

The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the “Bronxville Model School.” The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.

The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.

The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children.  All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.

The Bronxville Public Library
914-337-7680
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)
http://bronxvillelibrary.org/

Concordia College

Concordia College Adult Education

Concordia College was founded in 1881. It is a four-year, co-educational liberal arts college located in Bronxville. Concordia's Accelerated Degree Programs are designed to give you the skills to be competitive in your chosen career or in graduate school. 

Concordia College - New York
171 White Plains Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

http://www.concordia-ny.edu/

Sarah Lawrence College

Sarah Lawrence College 

914-337-0700
1 Mead Way
Bronxville, New York 10708

https://www.sarahlawrence.edu/

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