Mark Llobrera
My Year Abroad cover image

My Year Abroad

Chang-rae Lee

Started Reading
Jul 06, 2021
Finished Reading
Aug 12, 2021

Well, this took me much, much longer than usual to finish. But perhaps that’s appropriate, because the story is a meandering trip through adventures laced with humor and terror, mostly revolving around food. It gets to some truly weird places, with an absurdist tilt like a Terry Gilliam film. Sometimes it feels like Lee is just having a bit of self-indulgent fun, but then he’ll dive into a passage about China’s Cultural Revolution and suddenly the book turns into something else.

Mostly, though, the story is explicitly concerned with family, both given and chosen. Tiller Bardmon might be a character narrating the wildest, most unlikely year in his life, but he’s really just trying to find some level of home and security.