Native Speaker

Native Speaker
Native Speaker  
Author(s) Chang-Rae Lee
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Novel
Publisher Berkley Books
Publication date 1995
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 368 pp (first edition, paperback)
ISBN 978-1573225311
OCLC Number 38863471

Native Speaker (1995) is Chang-Rae Lee’s first novel. In Native Speaker, he creates a man named Henry Park who tries to assimilate into American society and become a “native speaker.”


Plot summary

Henry is the quintessential Korean-American, yet much of his Korean heritage resonates through his voice, personality, and beliefs. His Korean upbringing still shows up in his adult life. Like many American immigrants trying to find an identity in a foreign land, Henry is an “…emotional alien…stranger [and] follower…” who constantly feels isolated from the country in which he lives and also the country from which he came. Even though he is almost completely Americanized, Henry Park has trouble adapting to the U.S. There are many challenges that come with fitting in to American life because of the difference in culture, beliefs, behavior; and because of the desire to still hold on to one’s heritage.


  • Henry Park: An industrial spy who is assigned to be on John Kwang's pre-campaign team. His Korean name is Byong-ho.
  • Lelia Park: Henry's estranged wife who is a speech therapist from a wealthy, Scottish-American East Coast family. She met Henry at a party during one of his initial assignments.
  • Mitt Park : Henry and Lelia's son who died at the age of seven.
  • John Kwang: A Korean-American politician running for Mayor of New York who becomes a surrogate father to Henry.
  • Emile Luzan: A Filipino-American therapist whom Henry spied on but ended up befriending. He helped Henry recover from Mitt's death.
  • Sherrie Chin-Watt: A Chinese-American doctor who married an American man and is having an affair with John Kwang.
  • Mr Park: Henry's father, a strict man who was once an electric engineer in Korea.
  • Mrs Park: Henry's mother who died from cancer when Henry was ten.
  • Dennis Hoagland: Henry's boss.
  • Maid(Ahjumah): A young Korean woman who took care of Henry as a child.
  • May: John's wife whom he met when she came from Korea.
  • Sophie: Jack's Italian-American wife.
  • Jack: Henry's best friend and coworker who is a Greek-American.
  • Janice Pawlowsky: Henry's manager of John Kwang.
  • Eduardo Fermin: A Latino man who idolizes John Kwang. He dies during a fire at Kwang's campaign headquarters. He's also a spy for mayor De La Roos's reelection campaign.
  • Pete Ichibata: A Japanese co-worker known for crude jokes and excessive drinking.
  • John Kwang Jr: John's and May's son and Peter's brother whom Herny reminded him as Mitt who troblued with school
  • Peter Kwang: John Jr's brother and Son of John and May
  • Leila's parents: Henry's in laws and Mitt's grandparents

Awards and nominations


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Native - получить на Академике рабочий купон на скидку INTERMODA или выгодно native купить с бесплатной доставкой на распродаже в INTERMODA

  • native speaker — n someone who has learned a particular language as their first language, rather than as a foreign language →non native speaker ▪ For the spoken language, students are taught by native speakers. native speaker of ▪ a native speaker of English …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Native Speaker — ist ein Begriff aus dem Englischen für „Muttersprachler“, zusammengesetzt aus den englischen Wörtern native für „geboren“, „heimisch“ oder „natürlich“ und speaker für „Sprecher“, „Redner“ oder „Referent“. Mit Native Speaker umschreibt man heute… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • native speaker — native speakers N COUNT A native speaker of a language is someone who speaks that language as their first language rather than having learned it as a foreign language. Our programme ensures daily opportunities to practice your study language with …   English dictionary

  • native speaker — noun count * someone who has learned a particular language from the time they began to speak …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • native speaker — ► NOUN ▪ a person who has spoken the language in question from earliest childhood …   English terms dictionary

  • native speaker — noun a speaker of a particular language who has spoken that language since earliest childhood native speakers of French • Hypernyms: ↑speaker, ↑talker, ↑utterer, ↑verbalizer, ↑verbaliser * * * noun, pl ⋯ ers [count] : a person who learned to… …   Useful english dictionary

  • native speaker */ — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms native speaker : singular native speaker plural native speakers someone who has learnt a particular language from the time that they began to speak …   English dictionary

  • Native Speaker — Na|tive Spea|ker 〈[nɛıtıv spi:kə(r)] m.; s, 〉 jmd., der die Sprache, in der eben gesprochen wird od. von der die Rede ist, als Muttersprache hat, Muttersprachler [engl., „eingeborener, einheimischer Sprecher“] * * * Na|tive Spea|ker [ neɪtɪv… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • native speaker — noun A person who grew up with a particular language as their mother tongue. a native speaker of English See Also: native speaking …   Wiktionary

  • native speaker — /neɪtɪv ˈspikə/ (say naytiv speekuh) noun a person who speaks a particular language as their native tongue: a native speaker of French …   Australian-English dictionary

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