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Tammy Bray, dean emeritus of the Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences will review the novel "Pachinko" by Min Jin Lee, at noon on June 12, at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library as part of the Random Review program

The novel, a 2017 National Book Award finalist, follows the fortunes of an ethnic Korean family through much of the 20th century, first in their native Japanese-occupied Korea and then, as outsiders, settling in Japan. Lee has created a vivid cast of characters in her multi-generational story. Each successive generation lives its own kind of fraught existence as members of Japanese society who are considered to belong to an ethnically inferior class.

Even a family member who has achieved a respectable position managing a Pachinko parlor and ‘passing’ as Japanese is tormented by the fear of being exposed. Lee’s writing is weighty with historical detail and rich in emotional intelligence.

Bray is professor of Global Health and Nutrition in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. Under Bray’s leadership as dean, the college became Oregon’s first accredited college of public health. A native of Taiwan, she is a graduate of Fu Jen University. Her graduate degrees in nutrition and biochemistry are from Washington State University and she has been at OSU since 2002.

Bray's research is focused on eradicating malnutrition in children globally, and understanding the role of free radicals and antioxidants in gene expression influencing susceptibility to chronic diseases. In 2018 she received the OSU International Service Award and was named a Fulbright Specialist by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and World Learning.

Up next: This is the final Random Review program of the 2018-19 season. The program will take July and August off and resume in September. 

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Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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