"An entire book of good stories. . . . [Leung] gains trust the old-fashioned way—through confidence, craftsmanship and compassion. There are no shortcuts here, no tricks or gimmicks, no glib patinas to conceal weak underpinnings. . . . This is a book about loss, twined irrevocably with hope, a hope that surges below the surface of all life. . . . Read [it] and see a bold new writer making himself vulnerable on the page. He gives us all hope."—Chris Offutt
Born to a Chinese father and Euro-American mother, Brian Leung is a native of California, where he is now an assistant professor at California State University, Northridge. He received an M.F.A in creative writing from Indiana University.
kira-kira (kee ra kee ra): glittering; shining Glittering. That's how Katie Takeshima's sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason and so are people's eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it's Lynn who explains to her why people stop on the street to stare, and it's Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow, but when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering -- kira-kira -- in the future.
Being a solo flyer made sense to Jerry Battle right from the start. For his 56th birthday, his longtime (and recently ex-) girlfriend Rita Reyes had given him a gift certificate for a flying lesson. Once Jerry was up there he thought everything looked perfect.
But everything isn't perfect and for such a nice guy, Jerry could wreak an amazing amount of havoc ...
Life is about to deal Jerry Battle his toughest hand yet. With his ailing father yearning to flee his Care Centre and his son teetering on bankruptcy, and, for once, no woman in his life to rely on, Jerry's daughter is about to bestow on him a father's worst nightmare. But maybe Jerry Battle needs to finally work out what it is that separates him from his loved ones and be tugged back to earth to engage with his family.
“Hopeful monsters” are genetically abnormal organisms that, nonetheless, adapt and survive in their environments. In these devastating stories, the hopeful monsters in question are those who will not be tethered by familial duty nor bound by the ghosts of their past.
Home becomes fraught, reality a nightmare as Hiromi Goto weaves her characters through tales of domestic crises and cultural dissonance. They are the walking wounded—a mother who is terrified by a newborn daughter who bears a tail; a “stinky girl” who studies the human condition in a shopping mall; a family on holiday wih a visiting grandfather who cannot abide their “foreign” nature. But wills are a force unto themselves, and Goto’s characters are imbued with the light of myth and magic-realism. With humor and keen insight, Goto makes the familiar seem strange, and deciphers those moments when the idyllic skews into the absurd and the sublime.
Suzy Park is a twenty-nine-year-old Korean American interpreter for the New York City court system who makes a startling and ominous discovery about her family history that will send her on a chilling quest. Five years prior, her parents--hardworking greengrocers who forfeited personal happiness for their children's gain--were brutally murdered in an apparent robbery of their store. But the glint of a new lead entices Suzy into the dangerous Korean underworld, and ultimately reveals the mystery of her parents' homicide.
Poetry. Multi-awarded poet Luis H. Francia offers a new poetry collection, Museum of Absences, a book out of Francia's insistent sense ofthe void that haunts our lives, whether because of politics, faith, history, or personal circumstance. The book introduces a wide arrayof personae, from a Filipino old-timer looking back on a life of invisibility to Cinderella in middle age, and from a grandson communingwith deceased grandparents to a New Yorker responding to the horror of "9/11." Nick Carbo says, "Luis H. Francia's themes of love, loss, and redemption weave through the collection with the expert hand of a Stephane Mallarme or a Federico Fellini.
From the massively talented Gish Jen comes a barbed, moving, and stylistically dazzling new novel about the elusive nature of kinship. The Wongs describe themselves as a “half half” family, but the actual fractions are more complicated, given Carnegie’s Chinese heritage, his wife Blondie’s WASP background, and the various ethnic permutations of their adopted and biological children. Into this new American family comes a volatile new member.Her name is Lanlan. She is Carnegie’s Mainland Chinese relative, a tough, surprisingly lovely survivor of the Cultural Revolution, who comes courtesy of Carnegie’s mother’s will. Is Lanlan a very good nanny, a heartless climber, or a posthumous gift from a formidable mother who never stopped wanting her son to marry a nice Chinese girl? Rich in insight, buoyed by humor, The Love Wife is a hugely satisfying work.
In 1931, abandoned after their mother's suicide, the young Junan and her sister, Yinan, make a pact never to leave each other. The two girls are inseparable—until Junan enters into an arranged marriage and finds herself falling in love with her soldier husband. When the Japanese invade China, Junan and her husband are separated. Unable to follow him to the wartime capital, Junan makes the fateful decision to send her sister after him. Inheritance traces the echo of betrayal through generations and explores the elusive nature of trust.
Manila, 2000. Forty-four-year-old Roger Caracera returns to his birthplace after nearly three decades in the United States. He has come to bury the corrupt, charismatic head of the family sugar dynasty: his estranged father, Jesus. To Caracera's chagrin and pleasure, he is now viewed by his countrymen as the representative American; a local tabloid even refers to him as a General Douglas MacArthur look-alike. And when his father's will is read, Caracera is stunned to discover that he has been left half a million dollars.
Unable to live with this burdensome inheritance, he decides to give his money away. But who among the millions of needy Filipinos is he to focus on?
Traversing high and low life, societies rank and respectable, and with a cast of characters that includes a slum-dwelling boy hustler, a middle-aged American pederast, a rising Filipino tennis player, a calculating society matron, and a Peace Corps worker turned trophy wife, "The Disinherited "is an incisive and illuminating exploration of the impulse to do good in the world and the paradoxical harm brought on by generosity.