Troublemaker and Other Saints Paperback – Apr 2 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Tragedy and epiphany strike with equal force in this collection of 11 related short stories featuring the Chinese-American members of an extended network of family, friends, lovers and neighbors combating their private and public shames and struggling to find a place to call home. In "Troublemaker," Eric Tsui, a teenager growing up in a squalid corner of New York's Chinatown, suffers physical abuse at the hands of his brother and rediscovers both his national identity and his humanity when he's forced to reconcile with an elderly neighbor he injured in a prank. Eric's abusive brother, Jonathan, resurfaces in two other stories: "Trader," in which his engagement falls apart when his fiance is overwhelmed by his uncontrollable anger and feelings of inferiority at being Asian, and "Gentleman," in which he participates in a dramatic one-night stand in Hong Kong on the night of the handover. After years of racial slurs, his Hong Kong lover, Amy, an "Asian beauty," turns the Asian sexual fetish on its head, trying to regain her sense of self-worth through encounters with men she meets through the personals; in "Beauty," she brings white men to their knees, but her thoughts drift to the only Chinese lover she's had, Jonathan. The list of issues confronted in the stories is grim domestic violence, suicide, crime, sexual abuse, anorexia, racism and yet Chiu somehow manages to avoid cynicism or despair. Torn between the Asian inclination to save face and the American penchant for sharing troubles and emotions, her characters are tenderly and skillfully drawn, and, as the title suggests, most ultimately find redemption. In sharp, witty, heartbreaking prose, Chui communicates the Asian-American experience as adeptly and freshly as Sherman Alexie describes the Native American experience, or Junot D¡az defines Latino life in the U.S. (Mar. 5)Forecast: Advance praise is already pouring in for this impressive collection it is an alternate selection for BOMC and QPB, and a nominee for a BOMC First Fiction Award, and likely will be one of the most talked-about literary debuts of the year.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
This debut offers a rich but wholly edible slice of diverse contemporary Chinese American life. Chiu's 11 stories are so tightly woven together that they read like a novel. Shifting from New York City to Hong Kong, the stories occur mostly around the time the British were returning the latter to China and expertly chronicle the daily struggles of their characters. The "troublemakers and saints" who appear prominently in one story often reappear as secondary but supporting characters in another's poignant narrative. Thus, in "Troublemaker," skateboarding aficionado Eric must do penance for seriously wounding an elderly neighbor by daily tending to the old man's needs. Eric materializes again in "Trader," his brother Johnnie's testimonial about how not to negotiate lasting love and affection. After tasting this creative morsel, readers will be hungry for Chiu's first novel or second work of collected stories. Recommended for all collections.DFaye A. Chadwell, Univ. of Oregon Libs., Eugene
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
There were some unanswered questions that left holes in some of the stories. Just how did the golden child Georgianna wind up married to a Black man? Was she just being rebellious or did she love him? With the gay characters (there are two), how did they come out to their families? And as for the girl who isn't into Asian men -- what happened to make her that way? Surely she wasn't born with an aversion to her own kind. I realize that the constraints of the short story form prevent any in-depth treatment of those questions, but just a few sentences of background could have cleared those things up. Then again, maybe those were deliberate omissions to lend a bit of mystery to the characters. Still, I thought this was a very good read.
Most recent customer reviews
This book encompassed everything, no stereotypes were allowed to seep in and I loved that. A gamut of personalities were explored here and there were things about racial identity,... Read morePublished on Nov. 8 2002 by all.star
I am very impressed with the way the author presented many different points of view in a realistic and unforced manner. Read morePublished on Dec 13 2001
A good book written with intricate prose. Unforunately, as the book got nearer to the end, so did my understanding. Read morePublished on Oct. 15 2001 by Selina
Suave and seductive, yet shockingly smart. Similar to your average Mitsubishi ad hiding behind slanted eyes and catchy tunes, Christina Chiu's "Troublemaker and Other... Read morePublished on Oct. 2 2001 by Callie A. Collins
I found this book so refreshing. The series of cleverly intertwined short stories was a perfect change of pace after being an avid novel reader for so long. Read morePublished on June 10 2001 by Jessica R. Miller
You know, it really did start out pretty well with some of the little stories she had. For example, the girl who had an eating disorder, or even the grandmother (although that was... Read morePublished on June 3 2001
Christina's stories of the Asian culture is exact and emotional. When I first took a look at it, I thought it was going to be another "Joy luck Club", as many of the... Read morePublished on May 22 2001 by Pei Kang
Nowadays there are so many Asian/Asian-American writers and they all seem rather similiar in terms of themes. Read morePublished on April 19 2001