Chang-rae Lee’s new novel, Aloft, is about a wealthy Italian-American man going through a series of family crises.
For Lee, writing from the perspective of a character so seemingly different from himself and his earlier protagonists felt unremarkable. “It’s not an issue for me,” he says. “I’m sure people will say, ‘Why did you write about a white guy?’ He shrugs. “Not every hero of mine is Asian.” Still, Aloft is a risky undertaking for a novelist who has, whether he likes it or not, firmly established himself as a “Korean-American writer.”