My Year Abroad

My Year Abroad

From the award-winning author of Native Speaker and On Such a Full Sea, an exuberant, provocative story about a young American life transformed by an unusual Asian adventure - and about the human capacities for pleasure, pain, and connection.

Tiller is an average American college student with a good heart but minimal aspirations. Pong Lou is a larger-than-life, wildly creative Chinese American entrepreneur who sees something intriguing in Tiller beyond his bored exterior and takes him under his wing. When Pong brings him along on a boisterous trip across Asia, Tiller is catapulted from ordinary young man to talented protégé, and pulled into a series of ever more extreme and eye-opening experiences that transform his view of the world, of Pong, and of himself.

In the breathtaking, "precise, elliptical prose" that Chang-rae Lee is known for (The New York Times), the narrative alternates between Tiller's outlandish, mind-boggling year with Pong and the strange, riveting, emotionally complex domestic life that follows it, as Tiller processes what happened to him abroad and what it means for his future. Rich with commentary on Western attitudes, Eastern stereotypes, capitalism, global trade, mental health, parenthood, mentorship, and more, My Year Abroad is also an exploration of the surprising effects of cultural immersion—on a young American in Asia, on a Chinese man in America, and on an unlikely couple hiding out in the suburbs. Tinged at once with humor and darkness, electric with its accumulating surprises and suspense, My Year Abroad is a novel that only Chang-rae Lee could have written, and one that will be read and discussed for years to come.

Title:My Year Abroad
ISBN:9780593396025
Format Type:

    My Year Abroad Reviews

  • Jessica Woodbury

    A modern update on the classic bildungsroman that is absolutely full of surprises. It is packed full of enough themes for a college lit course, but strongest among them are love, identity, race, and t...

  • Jenny Lawson

    One hell of a ride. 4.5 stars....

  • Traci at The Stacks

    Really strong writing but ultimately not my kind of book. There are some great vivid scenes that glue the book together, but in between i found myself losing interest. This is for sure for the fiction...

  • Ari Levine

    2.5, rounded up. I enjoyed thinking about this reading experience after it was over, and found surprising, revelatory, hilarious, and disgusting moments in almost every chapter, but this is a bloated,...

  • Nadine

    Narrator Tiller Bardamon is a 20 year old who lives on the “poor side” of an exclusive New Jersey suburb clearly based on Princeton,“where Labradoodles outnumber the ethnics”. In fact, being ...

  • Diane Payne

    Lee's novel about Tiller's year abroad may make college students regret their safe journeys while away from campus. Then again, our twenty-year-old Tiller, isn't a typical fellow, even though he is po...

  • Katja (Life and Other Disasters)

    *I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*CW: parental abandonment, suicidal ideation, mental illness, forced labor, forced sexual intercourse, sex ...

  • Liz Hein

    Five stars and I almost DNFed this book twice. If it wasn’t for a buddy read I would have, and this is now my favorite piece of fiction published in 2021 (so far). This is a SLOW start, and that’s...

  • Candace

    In "My Year Abroad," Chang-Rae Lee shows he is a writer at the top of his game. This is a complicated novel, and all of it is immediate and true. it's also the best use of bookending I may ever have r...

  • Elena L.

    MY YEAR ABROAD focuses on Tiller, an American college student whose life is transformed when he goes on an investment trip to Asia as an associate with Pong, a Chinese American entrepreneur.Alternatin...