Min Jin Lee’s “Free Food for Millionaires” Picked Up by Netflix

Free Food for Millionaires by Korean American author Min Jin Lee, will be the first Asian American 1-hour television drama in Hollywood history. Netflix is developing the novel as a period piece set in 1990s Manhattan on the heels of the popularity of Bridgerton and The Queen’s Gambit, Variety reported today.

Free Food for Millionaires is the story of Casey Han, a “strong-willed, Queens-bred daughter of Korean immigrants who is addicted to a glamorous Manhattan lifestyle she cannot afford.” Free Food for Millionaires marked Min Jin Lee’s literary debut, and was followed ten years later by Pachinko, a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction. She is currently working on her third novel, American Hagwon.

Bestselling author Min Jin Lee will be writing the screenplay, and is partnering with filmmaker Alan Yang, who will serve as executive producer.

Jinny Howe, Netflix’s head of drama development said of Free Food for Millionaires, “It’s a premium Asian American family drama told primarily through a Korean American woman who is at this crossroads in her life, as she graduates from an Ivy League school and is kind of straddling two worlds.” Howe, the development executive behind Bridgerton, Netflix’s most-watched original series to date, mentioned that Lee’s story personally resonated with her, adding that it “is unlike anything else we have on the slate right now.”

About Min Jin Lee and Free Food for Millionaires

Min Jin Lee is a recipient of fellowships in Fiction from the Guggenheim Foundation (2018), the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard (2018-2019), and the New York Foundation for the Arts (2000).  Free Food for Millionaires was a Top 10 Books of the Year for The Times of London, NPR’s Fresh AirUSA Today, and a national bestseller. Her novel Pachinko (2017) was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, a runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the Medici Book Club Prize, and a New York Times 10 Best Books of 2017. In 2018, Min Jin Lee was named as an Adweek Creative 100 for being one of the “10 Writers and Editors Who are Changing the National Conversation”. In 2019, Lee was inducted in the New York Foundation for the Arts Hall of Fame. She is a Writer-in-Residence at Amherst College from 2019-2022.

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