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Early word on Chang-Rae Lee's ''Aloft''

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After much-lauded novels about the immigrant experience — 1995’s Native Speaker and 1999’s A Gesture Life — Chang-rae Lee had planned to write next about the aftermath of the Korean War. ”But I kind of put that away,” he says. ”After my second novel, which is a war novel in many respects, I just couldn’t bear it.” By his standards, Aloft is light fare, though its subject is spiritual crisis in the suburbs, ”this place where everything’s supposed to just…continue in this long march towards being a good American citizen and a successful person. I wanted to look at those people. Which is pretty much everybody.” (March 8)