Synopses & Reviews
The characters who inhabit this extraordinary fictional debut are caught between the burden of their past history and the fragility of their unchartered future. Hunger illuminates how first-generation immigrants from China, culturally and emotionally uprooted from their homeland, mistrust connection even as they hunger for attachment '" and how the past affects and shapes their children.
In luminous prose, these moving stories of love and loss explore the profound and painful ties between husband and wife, parent and child, sister and sister. The stunning title novella is told by a woman whose love for an exiled musician compels her into a tragic marriage in which her husband's unfulfilled desires nearly destroy their children. In other stories, a ghost seduces a young girl into a flooded river; a mother commands a daughter to avenge her father's death.
Lan Samantha Chang weaves the forces of war and magic, food and desire, ghosts and family, into haunting tales. Again and again, Chang asks the question: is love not a kind of burden, stifling and terrifying in the choices and responsibilities it forces on us? And yet we yearn for it, define ourselves by our experience of it, cannot live without it.
"Spare and haunting tales that ask ordinary questions about that extraordinary emotion: love."--
The novella and five stories that make up this collection reveal the lives of immigrant families haunted by lost loves: a ghost seduces a young girl into a flooded river; a mother commands a daughter to avenge her father's death; and in the title novella, a woman speaks from beyond the grave about her tragic marriage to an exiled musician whose own disappointments nearly destroyed their two daughters.
Not since Maxine Hong Kingston and Amy Tan has a fiction writer explored with such powerful intensity the experience of being Asian American.
Elegant. . . . A delicately calculated balance sheet of the losses and gains of immigrants whose lives are stretched between two radically different cultures.A work of gorgeous, enduring prose.Impeccable. . . . Delicately specific tales of Chinese immigrant life . . . capturing the universal struggles of the human heart. . . . So luminous is this collection, the result is something like a pearl.
About the Author
Lan Samantha Chang's fiction has appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Story and The Best American Short Stories 1994 and 1996. Chang is the author of the award-winning books Hunger and Inheritance, and the novel All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost. She is the recipient of the Wallace Stegner and Truman Capote fellowships at Stanford University. She also received, from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, a Teaching-Writing fellowship and a Michener-Copernicus fellowship. Her many awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, and she was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa, where she directs the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.