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The Train to Lo Wu

by

The Train to Lo Wu Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The characters in Jess Rows remarkable fiction inhabit “a city that can be like a mirage, hovering above the ground: skyscrapers built on mountainsides, islands swallowed in fog for days.” This is Hong Kong, where a Chinese girl and her American teacher explore the “blindness” of bats in an effort to locate the ghost of her suicidal mother; an American graduate student provokes a masseur into reliving the traumatic experience of the Cultural Revolution; a businessman falls in love with a prim bar hostess across the border, in Shenzhen, and finds himself helpless to dissolve the boundaries between them; a stock analyst obsessed with work drives her husband to attend a Zen retreat, where he must come to terms with his failing marriage.

Scrupulously imagined and psychologically penetrating, these seven stories shed light on the many nuances of race, sex, religion, and culture in this most mysterious of cities, even as they illuminate the most universal of human experiences.

From the Hardcover edition.

Review:

"No one quite understands anyone else in Row's Hong Kong, a city suffused by a pervasive sense of alienation. In the seven stories of this debut collection, Row's protagonists — American expats and locals alike — flail about, either helplessly or harmfully, as blind as Alice in the first story, 'The Secrets of Bats,' who wanders around in a blindfold, trying to gain a bat's sense of orientation. The narrator of the title story, a wealthy man from Hong Kong, falls in love with a Chinese woman named Lin. Political strictures make their situation difficult, but cultural differences ultimately divide them. The narrator (whose family has lived in Hong Kong for five generations) is optimistic and resourceful; Lin (crushed all her life by the Chinese system) cannot abandon her pessimism. In 'For You,' the marriage of an American couple disintegrates after they move to Hong Kong, and the husband, Lewis, temporarily joins a Buddhist monastery — just one example of the way personal breakdowns tend to follow political displacement in Row's stories. At the monastery, Lewis is told: 'Mistakes are your mirror.... They reflect your mind. Don't try to slip away from them.' In sharp, lucid prose, Row molds a landscape of human error and uncertainty, territory well-aligned with the eerie topography of his space-age city. Agent, Elyse Cheney. Forecast: This is another fine addition to a growing class of fiction by young Americans with experience abroad — see also John Dalton's Heaven Lake, Nell Freudenberger's Lucky Girls and Rattawut Lapcharoensap's Sightseeing." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

Jess Row is a graduate of Yale University, and received his MFA from the University of Michigan. His stories have been included in the Best American Short Stories 2001 and 2003 anthologies, as well as in Ploughshares. He is the recipient of a 2003 Whiting Writers Award and an NEA grant. He lives in New York, where he is at work on a novel.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385337908
Author:
Row, Jess
Publisher:
Dial Press
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Hong Kong (China)
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20060131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.55x5.28x.47 in. .54 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Train to Lo Wu New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.50 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Dial Press - English 9780385337908 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "No one quite understands anyone else in Row's Hong Kong, a city suffused by a pervasive sense of alienation. In the seven stories of this debut collection, Row's protagonists — American expats and locals alike — flail about, either helplessly or harmfully, as blind as Alice in the first story, 'The Secrets of Bats,' who wanders around in a blindfold, trying to gain a bat's sense of orientation. The narrator of the title story, a wealthy man from Hong Kong, falls in love with a Chinese woman named Lin. Political strictures make their situation difficult, but cultural differences ultimately divide them. The narrator (whose family has lived in Hong Kong for five generations) is optimistic and resourceful; Lin (crushed all her life by the Chinese system) cannot abandon her pessimism. In 'For You,' the marriage of an American couple disintegrates after they move to Hong Kong, and the husband, Lewis, temporarily joins a Buddhist monastery — just one example of the way personal breakdowns tend to follow political displacement in Row's stories. At the monastery, Lewis is told: 'Mistakes are your mirror.... They reflect your mind. Don't try to slip away from them.' In sharp, lucid prose, Row molds a landscape of human error and uncertainty, territory well-aligned with the eerie topography of his space-age city. Agent, Elyse Cheney. Forecast: This is another fine addition to a growing class of fiction by young Americans with experience abroad — see also John Dalton's Heaven Lake, Nell Freudenberger's Lucky Girls and Rattawut Lapcharoensap's Sightseeing." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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