Reviews & Interviews
- Minnesota Public Radio
Interview with Euan Kerr on Minnesota Public Radio's "All Things Considered."
- The New Yorker
"Briefly Noted" in the Sept. 24th issue of The New Yorker: "Smart, subdued…Lee, a third-generation Korean-American, is obviously familiar with the complexity of identity fixation, and his characters ultimately discover the danger of becoming martyrs to a cause."
- Time Out New York
Review by Timothy Bracy in Time Out New York: "A fine prose stylist meditates on idealism and pragmatism in his novel of ambitious, young Asian-American artists....Here, he credibly addresses the political and social concerns of a specific demographic, while also rendering a work that will feel relatable to nearly everyone who reads it."
- WBAI Radio
Radio interview with Leyla Mei on WBAI in New York.
- Minneapolis–St. Paul Star Tribune
Review by Sun Yung Shin in the Minneapolis–St. Paul Star Tribune: "Lively and suspenseful, this novel masterfully probes the high-stakes contest between integrity and belonging. Lee's sympathy for his deeply human characters will captivate any reader."
Review by Poornima Apte in BookBrowse: "A must-read for everyone interested in the discussion of racial identity and its place in our supposedly post-racial world."
- The L Magazine
Q&A with Mark Asch in The L Magazine.
- WBUR/NPR Here and Now
Radio interview with Robin Young on WBUR's Here and Now.
- The Boston Globe
Review by John Freeman in The Boston Globe: "At last we have a kind of campus novel about this contentious period of academe, Don Lee's The Collective. It is a hilarious and winning story, smoothly told...this book's plangent, and also celebratory undercurrent, flows on, whispering to the reader that the other collective it speaks of — friendship in youth — is equally unstable, and prone to collapse. The best parts of this keenly felt novel will remind you why."
TV interview with Karen Holmes Ward on CityLine, broadcast on WCVB, Boston.
- Entertainment Weekly
Review by Stephan Lee in Entertainment Weekly: "Lee comes with an agenda — an important one — about ethnicity and art, but he also delivers a heartbreaking, sexy, and frequently funny story about fractured friendships." EW's Grade: A-
- The Daily Beast
Review by Jimmy So in The Daily Beast: "An Asian-American writer commits suicide, and his manipulative ways make us think whether David Foster Wallace's or Randall Jarrell's art make their suffering all worth it."
- Hyphen Magazine
Interview with Joyce Chen in Hyphen Magazine.
- NPR Morning Edition
Review by Daniel Goldin on NPR's Morning Edition: "In this sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hilarious novel…Lee explores themes of identity he's contemplated in the past — the allure of the cultural bond, the bristle of the stereotype — but this time through the lens of the college novel."
Interview with Terry Hong in Bookslut.
- Guernica Daily
Interview with Christine Lee Zilka in Guernica Daily.
Radio interview with Bill Newman on WHMP-FM, Northamption, MA.
- Hyphen Magazine
Review by Noah Cho in Hyphen Magazine: "When the characters speak to — and hurt — each other, it is all the more impactful because they are realistically drawn and believable. And that, in turn, makes the novel a truly engrossing read."
- The Margins
Interview with Ken Chen in the Asian American Writers' Workshop's The Margins.
- The Huffington Post
Review in The Huffington Post: "We've been following the trend of literary fiction set in college towns, and find this to be a standout example. Also, it raises interesting questions about whether or not minority artists should feel obligated to choose race as a thematic focus."
Review by Carolyn Kubisz in Booklist: "Lee smashes Asian stereotypes to pieces to present a provocative look at what it truly means to have one's identity tied to not just oneself but also an entire race."
- Library Journal
Review by Shirley N. Quan in Library Journal: "Offering strong characterizations and thought-provoking prose, Lee addresses the Asian American experience from various vantage points, realistically examining themes ranging from personal relationships to racism and artistic censorship. His novel has enough depth to spark uninhibited discussion in any book group and, given its time frame, will have special meaning for Gen X readers."
- The Christian Science Monitor
Review by Rachel Meier in The Christian Science Monitor: "The Collective brilliantly sorts through issues of friendship, intimacy, idealism, art, sacrifice, racism, and publicity. Don Lee is a phenomenal writer that you absolutely should know, and The Collective is a book you absolutely should read. Get two pages in and you’ll know I’m right."