In Chang-rae Lee's A Gesture Life, Franklin "Doc" Hata has felt like an outsider his entire life. Born in Korea but raised by a Japanese adoptive family, he now lives in a wealthy, suburban New York town where he is well-respected for his politeness and work ethic. But beneath Doc's quiet, unassuming exterior lies a secret: His doomed love for a Korean comfort woman when he served as a Japanese army medic in World War II has haunted him for decades, leaving a toll on his ability to show and feel emotion, and straining his relationship with his adopted daughter, Sunny. Lyrical, beautiful, yet profoundly sad, A Gesture Life is an examination of one man's broken inner life, the secrets we keep for the sake of those we love, and our desire to belong. —J.L.