Drifting House
Penguin Random House


“With How I Became a North Korean, Krys Lee takes us into urgent and emotional novelistic terrain: the desperate and tenuous realms defectors are forced to inhabit after escaping North Korea. With heart and passion, Lee forges a world no other writer could create, one where the only response to longing and loss is learning to trust and hope again.”
—Adam Johnson, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author of The Orphan Master’s Son and Fortune Smiles


“This is one of the best books I’ve read in a good long while. Krys Lee inhabits three wildly different individuals with precision and heart. While North Korea is at the center of the novel, the themes of love, family and our debt to our fellow human beings will resonate universally.”
—Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story and Little Failure


“How I Became A North Korean proves that in literature, no story is too small, nobody is forgotten. With empathy and insight and a deep sense of place, Krys Lee brings us to one of the most hopeless corners of the world yet gives us hope and beauty. What a brave and moving novel.”
—Yiyun Li, MacArthur Fellow and PEN/Hemingway award-winning author of A Thousand Years of Good Prayers and Kinder Than Solitude


“I was entranced by How I Became a North Korean, and read it with increasing admiration. It’s such a penetrating work, an education, really, powered by a determination to salute the stories that have hitherto passed us by.”
—Sunjeev Sahota, Booker Prize shortlisted author of The Runaways


“Terrifying, poetic and precise, How I Became a North Korean captures the crushing human cost of fleeing a dictatorship.”
—Blaine Harden, New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Camp 14





Drifting House
Viking/Penguin U.S.


“Haunting . . . [Lee] is well on her way to a promising literary career.” —NPR.org


“It is [Lee’s] cool telling that allows the tectonic plates of history, social forces and circumstances to move beneath these stories, conveying the feeling that something urgent and profound is at stake, beyond the lives of these striving, damaged and unforgettable characters.”
—San Francisco Chronicle


“Drifting House has shades of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth in its rendering of split cultural identities. But even more, it recalls Alice Munro’s Too Much Happiness, holding beauty and brutality in an elegant equipoise. . . . [A] textured, knowing and brilliant debut.”
—Kansas City Star


“Superb.”
—Junot Díaz, The New York Times Book Review