A Person of Interest: A Novel

Susan Choi

This emotional tale combines Unabomber-style violence with an immigrant’s struggle to be seen as the American he knows himself to be. Professor Lee teaches math at a small college in the middle of nowhere and is noticed by no one—students, other faculty, his ex-wives or one-time friends—until a bomb explodes in the office next to his, killing a more popular professor. Lee—we are not told his first name, nor his country of origin—initially lies to the FBI to protect his dignity. The lie is quickly detected, and once the FBI focuses on him, nothing he says or does can stop the mobs who believe that he is the killer. But the qualities that got him into trouble are also the ones that can save the day: his arrogance, reliance on intellect and the dogged determination to do what is right.