Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Only 1 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The Collective: A Novel has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Item qualifies for FREE shipping and Prime! This item is used.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Collective: A Novel Hardcover – July 16, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$25.95
$4.00 $0.01

Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
$25.95 FREE Shipping. Only 1 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Collective: A Novel
  • +
  • Native Speaker
Total price: $35.95
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

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-  --Stephan Lee, Entertainment Weekly

Offering strong characterizations and thought-provoking prose, Lee addresses the Asian American experience from various vantage points...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. --Shirley N. Quan, Library Journal

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. -- Carolyn Kubisz, Booklist

"The Collective" brilliantly sorts through issues of friendship, intimacy, idealism, art...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. --Rachel Meier, Christian Science Monitor

A hilarious and winning story...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. --John Freeman, The Boston Globe

“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.” (Stephan Lee - Entertainment Weekly)

“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.” (Library Journal)

“It is a hilarious and winning story, smoothly told...” (John Freeman - Boston Globe)

About the Author

Don Lee is also the author of the novels Wrack and Ruin and Country of Origin and the story collection Yellow. He has received an American Book Award, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, an O. Henry Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the Fred R. Brown Literary Award. His stories have appeared in The Kenyon Review, GQ, The Southern Review, American Short Fiction, The Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere. He is currently the director of the MFA program in creative writing at Temple University.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; First Edition edition (July 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393083217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393083217
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,542,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Don Lee is a very talented writer and there is much to commend this book. I really liked his previous book, Wrack and Ruin: A Novel, maybe in part because I identified with the middle-aged men in that piece. Here his focus, for most of the book, is on young people in college and during the early days of their post-graduate lives. He portrays them with all the standard idealistic views and grandiose hopes people of that age have of taking the world by storm.

Eric Cho, a Korean American from California, is the focal character of the book. He's an aspiring writer who befriends 2 fellow Asian students at the mostly white Macalaster College in Minnesota. One, Joshua, is another aspiring writer, the other, Jessica, is an artist, rebelling against her parents' wishes that she become a doctor. There are a lot of good observations here about the desire to make a difference in the world and good examination of the issues of racial identity and whether or not an ethnic artist has an obligation to explore themes reflecting his identity or if he or she should be free to examine any topic they wish and assume the persona of any race. But after a very provocative opening, in which Eric, in his mid-thirties, reflects on Joshua's suicide at the same age, the middle of the novel bogged down a little bit for me for a couple reasons.
Read more ›
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an Asian American artist, this is my "Catcher in the Rye". I think this novel is as important as Ellison's "Invisible Man" and will become a modern classic. Beautiful, crisp prose. Fascinating, flawed characters drawn with such honesty that you will recognize yourself in them. The character of Joshua Yoon is one of the most interesting Asian characters in literature, larger than life, fearless, with a seering intellect, glowing as brightly as a star but also selfish, misanthropic, combative and ultimately, suicidal. This coming of age novel has enough emotional power and unpredictable plot points to keep you turning the page--it will make you think of your own journey in life, your friends and lovers through the years, --but it also has an intellectual heft to it, debating ideas of identity and representation, of art and race at this particular moment in history from the Asian perspective, a perspective that has largely been left out of the racial discourse. This is one of those rare books that I know I will return to again and again in my life. A must read for everyone, but particularly for Americans of Asian descent.
1 Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
There are some very good 4* and 5* reviews that make for a good analysis. I'm not going to try to duplicate them.

I enjoyed the book when I read it - yes, it drags a little in the middle, and had it not I would have given it a 5* rating - but for me the book got even better after I finished it and thought about some its themes.

One of the author's themes relates to the picture on the cover. It is a collection of writing and drawing instruments bound together by a rubber band, but the writing instruments are all different and not at all alike - an engineering pencil, a few ball point pens, a broken lead pencil. These represent the characters in the book - a number of writers and one graphic artist, bound together in a collective because they are Asian, but not of the same Asian ethnicity. Some of the writing instruments are sharp while others are dull or broken. Again, this represents the range of talents in the collective and the emotional state of mind of some of the characters. The author does a good job playing the different characters together and having them intersect in realistic ways. You may decide that some of the characters are actually caricatures because they are so extreme and so blind. But this does not diminish the book in any way.

Another theme the author explores is self-identification. The author is Asian and presents the self-identification issue through Asian eyes; however, the self-identification issue doesn't necessarily need to be Asian. It could be another group - say European-Americans with different cultures and religions. The author presents several viewpoints, many of them contradictory, expressed by the characters.
Read more ›
1 Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The is a wonderful novel by a marvelous writer. Clear, concise, shocking and tender, I loved and knew each character like old school friends. I have enjoyed all of his books. This one and Yellow ( short stories) are my favorites.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author really understands the complex dynamics of the Asian American culture. Don Lee articulates the angst felt by all Asian Americans at one time or other in unflinchingly vivid manner without sparing anyone. It was nice to read the familiar pathos resonate between the lines of this must read book by all interested Americans in cultures other than their own.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Collective: A Novel
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Collective: A Novel

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?