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Beauty Plus Pity

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Beauty Plus Pity Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Beauty plus pity—that is the closest we can get to a definition of art."—Vladimir Nabokov

In this tragicomic modern immigrant's tale, Malcolm Kwan is a slacker twentysomething Asian-Canadian living in Vancouver who is about to embark on a modelling career when his life is suddenly derailed by two near-simultaneous events: the death of his filmmaker father, and the betrayal of his fiancée who has left him. Soon he meets Hadley, the half-sister he never knew existed?the result of his father's extramarital affair?and as their tentative relationship grows, Malcolm is forced to confront his past relationships with women, including his own mother, an art teacher working through her grief as well as her resentment at her son befriending her husband's daughter.

Written with a winsome yet plaintive eye, Beauty Plus Pity is about a young man who's forced to reckon with the past as he works through his lifelong ambivalence toward his hyphenated cultural identity, and between two parents holding intolerable secrets.

Kevin Chong is the author of the novel Baroque-a-Nova (Plume) and the memoir Neil Young Nation (Greystone Books).

Review:

"Chong (Baroque-a-Nova) imbues the hero of his second novel with a healthily self-deprecating sense of humor, which in varying degrees succeeds in saving this coming-of-age saga from tedium. Malcolm Kwan is a second-generation Chinese-American who has just lost his father, Oliver, to cancer. At the wake, Dad's love child and Malcolm's half-sister, Hadley, sits in a corner, adding to the grief of Malcolm's emotionally unstable mother, Eliza, and generally upsetting the solemnity of the situation. While Malcolm deals with all the usual identity crises of the newly fatherless, he is also gearing up for pursuing a career in modeling, not so much a lifelong as a dim but insistently held desire. His fiancée, Claire, tired of his equally dim desire for her, leaves Malcolm and their shared apartment, conveniently making available space for a blossoming sibling relationship between Malcolm and Hadley. Hadley's adolescent dramas prove to be a much needed foil to Malcolm's self-absorbed, antisocial tendencies, and he discovers in her a surprising side of himself and of his father. This unassuming, well-written novel is quiet in every way — subtly entertaining, poignant, and funny — but suffers from its lack of passion. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

An Asian American man meets the sister he never knew he had: a wistful novel about family, loss, and forgiveness.

Synopsis:

"Beauty plus pity—that is the closest we can get to a definition of art."—Vladimir Nabokov

In this tragicomic, modern immigrant's tale, Malcolm Kwan is a twentysomething Asian American embarking on a modeling career whose life is derailed when his father dies and his fiancée leaves him. When he meets the half-sister he never knew existed—the result of his father's extramarital affair—he must work through his lifelong ambivalence as one trapped between two cultures and between two parents holding intolerable secrets.

Kevin Chong is the author of the novel Baroque-a-Nova (Plume) and the memoir Neil Young Nation (Greystone Books).

About the Author

Kevin Chong: Kevin Chong was born in Hong Kong in 1975 and raised in Vancouver. He is the author of a novel, Baroque-a-Nova (Plume, 2002), a music memoir entitled Neil Young Nation (Greystone/PGW, 2005), and a forthcoming memoir on horse-racing. He lives in Vancouver.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781551524160
Author:
Chong, Kevin
Publisher:
Arsenal Pulp Press
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20110831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life
Fiction and Poetry » Small Press » Fiction and Prose

Beauty Plus Pity Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Arsenal Pulp Press - English 9781551524160 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Chong (Baroque-a-Nova) imbues the hero of his second novel with a healthily self-deprecating sense of humor, which in varying degrees succeeds in saving this coming-of-age saga from tedium. Malcolm Kwan is a second-generation Chinese-American who has just lost his father, Oliver, to cancer. At the wake, Dad's love child and Malcolm's half-sister, Hadley, sits in a corner, adding to the grief of Malcolm's emotionally unstable mother, Eliza, and generally upsetting the solemnity of the situation. While Malcolm deals with all the usual identity crises of the newly fatherless, he is also gearing up for pursuing a career in modeling, not so much a lifelong as a dim but insistently held desire. His fiancée, Claire, tired of his equally dim desire for her, leaves Malcolm and their shared apartment, conveniently making available space for a blossoming sibling relationship between Malcolm and Hadley. Hadley's adolescent dramas prove to be a much needed foil to Malcolm's self-absorbed, antisocial tendencies, and he discovers in her a surprising side of himself and of his father. This unassuming, well-written novel is quiet in every way — subtly entertaining, poignant, and funny — but suffers from its lack of passion. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
An Asian American man meets the sister he never knew he had: a wistful novel about family, loss, and forgiveness.
"Synopsis" by ,

"Beauty plus pity—that is the closest we can get to a definition of art."—Vladimir Nabokov

In this tragicomic, modern immigrant's tale, Malcolm Kwan is a twentysomething Asian American embarking on a modeling career whose life is derailed when his father dies and his fiancée leaves him. When he meets the half-sister he never knew existed—the result of his father's extramarital affair—he must work through his lifelong ambivalence as one trapped between two cultures and between two parents holding intolerable secrets.

Kevin Chong is the author of the novel Baroque-a-Nova (Plume) and the memoir Neil Young Nation (Greystone Books).

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