Pachinko chronicles the lives of one Korean family, first in Japanese-occupied Korea, then in Japan itself. It opens in a little fishing village with an arranged marriage between Hoonie, a cleft-lipped, club-footed son of a fisherman and a shy 15 year old beauty, Yangjin. The family face ruin when their only daughter Sunja falls pregnant by a married yakuza (a polished gangster), until a local pastor offers her a life in Japan as his wife. Totally gripping and beautifully written, Pachinko is a story of family loyalty, love and identity in a fascinating time and place.
Words by Immie Blackwell, The Iris Letter February 2018.