Mini book review: Read "Country of Origin"

" Country of Origin" by Don Lee

(this article first appeared in the august 3, 2004 issue of newsweek international)

It's 1980, and Lisa Countryman, an exotic young American, goes missing in Tokyo.

She had been working as a hostess at an exclusive bar, claiming to be doing research on Japanese women for her dissertation. But Lisa, half Asian and half black, has a secret agenda, which becomes clear only late in the book. Almost all the characters?including a junior U.S. diplomat assigned to her case and a Japanese cop on her trail?have complex issues with race.

In this innovative first novel set on the eve of Japan's economic boom, Lee, a Korean-American who grew up in Tokyo and Seoul, tells a poignant story of prejudice, betrayal and the search for identity.

(c) Newsweek

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