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2 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

The Third Son

by

The Third Son Cover

ISBN13: 9781616200794
ISBN10: 1616200790
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the middle of a terrifying air raid
 in Japanese-occupied Taiwan, Saburo, the least-favored son of a Taiwanese politician, runs through a peach forest for cover. It's there that he stumbles upon Yoshiko, whose descriptions of her loving family are to Saburo like a glimpse of paradise. Meeting her is a moment he will remember forever, and for years he will try to find her again. When he finally does, she is by the side of his oldest brother and greatest rival.

Set in a tumultuous and violent period of Taiwanese history — as the Chinese Nationalist Army lays claim to the island and one autocracy replaces another — and the fast-changing American West of the late 1950s and early 1960s, The Third Son is a richly textured story of lives governed by the inheritance of family and the legacy of culture, and of a young man determined to free himself from both.

In Saburo, debut author Julie Wu has created an extraordinary character who is determined to fight for everything he needs and wants, from food to education to his first love. A sparkling and moving story, it will have readers cheering for a young boy with his head in the clouds who, against all odds, finds himself on the frontier
 of America's space program.

Review:

"An epic and beautiful debut. Wu had me rooting for her hero right from the very start. The Third Son is a novel of chances and choices, love and loyalty, hope and heartache. A magnificently inspiring story of one man's odyssey to freedom." Lydia Netzer, author of Shine Shine Shine

Review:

"The Third Son is about love lost, love regained, and — most of all — love's endurance....I was entranced by this tale of an immigrant who boldly makes a new future for himself out of the wreckage of a Dickensian childhood. Julie Wu has taken the story of her own parents and turned it into a universal story that will have everyone cheering for Saburo and Yoshiko, two lovers whose faith in each other spans continents and oceans." Carol Rifka Brunt, author of Tell the Wolves I'm Home

Review:

"This novel opens with a blast of machine-gun fire, as a schoolboy delivers a girl from death during World War II. Julie Wu spins a fable of borders — between childhood and adulthood, Taiwan and America. In deceptively simple prose, Wu evokes the heartache of people caught in the middle." Marie Myung-Ok Lee, author of Somebody's Daughter

Review:

"A boy growing up in Japanese-occupied Taiwan in the 1940s will do anything to escape his tormenting family and reconnect with his first love in this compelling work of fiction." O: The Oprah Magazine

Review:

"A stunningly pure and inspiring love story....Deeply compelling." The Boston Globe

Review:

"Wu presents an alluring story that hits all the right emotional buttons and maintains readers' empathy from the first page to the last." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"With great authority and skill, Wu depicts not just the grand events of the era, such as the Kuomintang (KMT)'s arrival in Taiwan and the brutal occupation that followed, but also the small, private moments of life....The Third Son should be the start of a very successful writing career for Julie Wu, and I hope she will not need long to write her next novel — I'm excited to read it." Fiction Writers Review

Synopsis:

It's 1943. As air-raid sirens blare in Japanese-occupied Taiwan, eight-year-old Saburo walks through the peach forests of Taoyuan. The least favored son of a Taiwanese politician, Saburo is in no hurry to get home to the taunting and abuse he suffers at the hands of his parents and older brother. In the forest he meets Yoshiko, whose descriptions of her loving family are to Saburo like a glimpse of paradise. Meeting her is a moment he will remember forever, and for years he will try to find her again. When he finally does, she is by the side of his oldest brother and greatest rival.

Set in a tumultuous and violent period of Taiwanese history — as the Chinese Nationalist Army lays claim to the island and one autocracy replaces another — The Third Son tells the story of lives governed by the inheritance of family and the legacy of culture, and of a young man determined to free himself from both.

About the Author

After graduating from Harvard with a BA in Literature, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Julie Wu received an MD at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. She has received a writing grant from the Vermont Studio Center and won a 2012 Massachusetts Cultural Council fellowship. Her website is www.juliewuauthor.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

A writer who reads, May 25, 2013 (view all comments by A writer who reads)
Wow, what an unusual book! I'm used to well-researched historical fiction that presents me with a clear, vivid impression of an exciting time and place -- which this novel does beautifully; I felt completely enmeshed in Saburo's world from the first scene -- but seldom have I encountered a first-person narrative that so convincingly carried the resonance of reality, or one that sounded so much like how a real person would actually tell his own story. It sticks in the mind (or, at any rate, my mind) as the experience of someone who actually lived through those events, rather than a personal story set against a historical backdrop.

Even very good character-based fiction set in times of great social and political upheaval sometimes gets so caught up in showing the thrilling big picture that the protagonist's private reality can get a little lost. The brilliance of THE THIRD SON lies in the narrative's treating those events (and minor characters, particularly the nasty ones) with the precise level of importance they would have realistically had in Saburo's life. A childhood encounter with a snake leaps off the page with nightmare vividness, for instance, while a change in political regime is depicted primarily through the suddenly arbitrary actions of the protagonist's schoolteacher. It's an especially effective tactic in the early chapters, where our little hero encounters some pretty eye-popping abuse.

The overall effect is to leave the reader feeling as though she's eavesdropping directly upon this guy's memories. After closing the book, I remembered the supporting characters not as though I'd known them in real life, but as if I had been fortunate enough to hear Saburo the real person tell me all about them. Admittedly, I'm a reader drawn to ambitious literary high dives, but honestly, The Third Son so impressed me that I've found myself recommending this book to random strangers in bookstores.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781616200794
Author:
Wu, Julie
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Fiction : Sagas
Publication Date:
20130431
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Third Son Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill - English 9781616200794 Reviews:
"Review" by , "An epic and beautiful debut. Wu had me rooting for her hero right from the very start. The Third Son is a novel of chances and choices, love and loyalty, hope and heartache. A magnificently inspiring story of one man's odyssey to freedom."
"Review" by , "The Third Son is about love lost, love regained, and — most of all — love's endurance....I was entranced by this tale of an immigrant who boldly makes a new future for himself out of the wreckage of a Dickensian childhood. Julie Wu has taken the story of her own parents and turned it into a universal story that will have everyone cheering for Saburo and Yoshiko, two lovers whose faith in each other spans continents and oceans."
"Review" by , "This novel opens with a blast of machine-gun fire, as a schoolboy delivers a girl from death during World War II. Julie Wu spins a fable of borders — between childhood and adulthood, Taiwan and America. In deceptively simple prose, Wu evokes the heartache of people caught in the middle."
"Review" by , "A boy growing up in Japanese-occupied Taiwan in the 1940s will do anything to escape his tormenting family and reconnect with his first love in this compelling work of fiction."
"Review" by , "A stunningly pure and inspiring love story....Deeply compelling."
"Review" by , "Wu presents an alluring story that hits all the right emotional buttons and maintains readers' empathy from the first page to the last."
"Review" by , "With great authority and skill, Wu depicts not just the grand events of the era, such as the Kuomintang (KMT)'s arrival in Taiwan and the brutal occupation that followed, but also the small, private moments of life....The Third Son should be the start of a very successful writing career for Julie Wu, and I hope she will not need long to write her next novel — I'm excited to read it."
"Synopsis" by , It's 1943. As air-raid sirens blare in Japanese-occupied Taiwan, eight-year-old Saburo walks through the peach forests of Taoyuan. The least favored son of a Taiwanese politician, Saburo is in no hurry to get home to the taunting and abuse he suffers at the hands of his parents and older brother. In the forest he meets Yoshiko, whose descriptions of her loving family are to Saburo like a glimpse of paradise. Meeting her is a moment he will remember forever, and for years he will try to find her again. When he finally does, she is by the side of his oldest brother and greatest rival.

Set in a tumultuous and violent period of Taiwanese history — as the Chinese Nationalist Army lays claim to the island and one autocracy replaces another — The Third Son tells the story of lives governed by the inheritance of family and the legacy of culture, and of a young man determined to free himself from both.

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