For readers to whom Don Lee is a new author, The Partition is the perfect place to start. Lee, the author of four novels and a collection of short stories, transports readers around the world in this short story collection, which shines a light into the nooks and crannies of contemporary life and Asian American experiences ... Not only are these nine stories illuminating, but they are told in fine prose, clear and full of precise details ... At the heart of every story is a compelling human life.
Here we meet the same figures and tropes from Yellow: striving artists who sell out; slackers; lovers with internalized self-hatred that turns them violently bitter and paranoid ... Sentences...intended to move the reader, often tip into overwritten melodrama. Lee’s stories are often about disappointment, but his prose, too, can disappoint in deflating moments such as these.
... a collection of tales of the universal dilemmas in being human. We are prisoners of our own subjective experience and that leads to having blind spots we didn't even know we had. The Partition may help us get out of our defensive crouch and enjoy the ride.
Familiar joy is immediate as one reenters Lee’s signature worlds of brilliant resonance and quiet depth ... Lee further showcases his ingenious narrative acrobatics ... While Lee’ s devotees will joyfully relish casually dropped references to previous titles, new readers should savor plenty of first-time delight.
A stylish set of erotic stories ... Lee has a habit of overdoing the details, such as a superfluous explanation of the Mission District’s gentrification, but when he allows his stories to run, they offer gorgeous, psychological portraits of men and women caught in the throes of middle age. This smart collection about love and belonging will leave readers wanting more.