Reading: Free Food For Millionaires By Min Jin Lee


I didn’t expect to enjoy reading Free Food For Millionaires as much as I did. The book peers into the psyche and dynamics of a Korean immigrant family and growing up first-generation American with pedantic values and the psychology of poverty and lack, with the horrors of war not far behind their parents who immigrated to America.

As a second-generation Singaporean, my grandparents from China/Java made it to Singapore to build a life here, my grandmothers survived the Japanese Occupation in 1945 and the effects of the second world war – the suffering and baggage continue through generations. They say suffering is handed down 7 generations before it can be eradicated – if at all.

Growing up in predominantly Chinese society and the first world comforts, I know little about how it feels about not fitting in as a migrant and the racism towards minorities and the extra desire to succeed against all odds, however, those Asian values in the book still rings true to my childhood experiences.

Reading: Free food For Millionaires

The anxiety, the fear of being not enough, the mentality of lack, poverty and hardship and the constant struggle against guilt and filial piety. Free Food for Millionaires’ protagonist brings out all the feels in me. I am angry, sad, disappointed and anxious all at once, following her through her journey of young adulthood and navigating the world.

Author Min Jin Lee has published two books and Free Food For Millionaires is her debut novel (2007). Her works delve into themes of culture, immigration and the complex dynamics between different generations as well as the inter-generational trauma. Reading her books offers insights into the Korean-American immigrant community – their emotional and psychological struggles while paving a new life.

You May Also Like