Casey Han’s four years at Princeton gave her many things, “But no job and a number of bad habits.” Casey’s parents, who live in Queens, are Korean immigrants working for a dry cleaner while desperately trying to hold on to their culture and identity. Their daughter, on the other hand, has entered into rarified American society via scholarships. But after graduation, Casey discovers the reality of having expensive habits without the means to sustain them. As she attempts to navigate Manhattan, we explore her life and New York City’s milieu of haves and have-nots.
Free Food for Millionaires offers up a fresh assessment of the complex layers we inhabit, both in society and within ourselves. In this remarkably assured debut, inspired by 19th-century novels such as Vanity Fair and Middlemarch, Min Jin Lee examines the difficulty of maintaining one’s identity within changing communities.