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Lan Samantha Chang
Adult Fiction CHANG

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A complicated sister bond echoes through generations in this somber follow-up to Chang's well-received debut novella and stories, Hunger. In China in the early 1930s, sisters Junan and Yinan are inseparable, even as Junan matures into beauty and Yinan remains awkward and plain. Junan enters into an arranged marriage and falls in love with Li Ang, her soldier husband. Separated from him when the Japanese invade China, Junan sends the unmarried Yinan to keep her husband's household. What is intended as an arrangement of convenience turns to betrayal when Li Ang and Yinan have an affair. As China is divided by communism, the family is also rent in two. Junan and her daughters Hong (who is also the narrator) and Hwa end up in the States, while Yinan and Li Ang remain in mainland China with their son and are effectively banished from memory. It is memory-rather than dramatic action-at which Chang excels; her prose is lovely, but even images of the turmoil of war and displacement read at somewhat of a remove. Still, the sense of long family histories both spoken and unspoken is powerful, and the restrained conclusion has the force of Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day. Chang's sophomore effort may not chart new ground, but is still a solid effort. Agent, Jin Auh. 4-city author tour. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Chang follows up her award-winning short story collection, Hunger, with her first full-length novel, a multigenerational tale ranging from 1925 in China to the early 1990s in the United States. Seven years in the making, it was well worth the wait. Hong narrates the ongoing story of her mother, Junan, and her Aunt Yinan. During the Japanese invasion of China, the sisters' oath to stay together against all odds is broken. Junan, the stronger of the two, marries Li Ang, a soldier who is called to duty. When she can't follow him, she sends Yinan; the two eventually fall in love and have a child-the only male to be born in the family up to then. Chang adeptly portrays the strengths and weaknesses of her well-defined characters; her narrative flows well, except for an abrupt transition from Taiwan to the United States, which makes for a rushed ending. Readers who enjoy the works of strong women writers like Amy Tan, Gail Tsukiyama, and Hong Ying will relish this novel. Highly recommended for most fiction collections, especially those that specialize in Asian American fare. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/04.]-Shirley N. Quan, Orange Cty. P.L., Santa Ana, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Junan
Age: Young adult
Yinan's sister.

Age: Young adult
Junan's sister.

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