World and Town - download pdf or read online

By Gish Jen

ISBN-10: 0307272192

ISBN-13: 9780307272195

From the much-loved writer of Who’s Irish? and the affection spouse, a world-sized novel set in a small New England town.Hattie Kong—the lively offspring of a descendant of Confucius and an American missionary to China—has, in her 50th yr of residing within the usa, misplaced either her husband and her ally to melanoma. it's an totally devastating loss, in fact, and in addition heartbreakingly absurd: a bit, she thinks, “like having twins. She bought to booklet an identical church with a similar pianist for either funerals and did imagine she must have gotten a few kind of twofer from the crematorium.”But now, years later, it's time for Hattie to begin over. She strikes to the city of Riverlake, the place she is quickly joined by way of an immigrant Cambodian relations at the run from their inner-city problems, in addition as—quite unexpectedly—by a just-retired neuroscientist ex-lover named Carter Hatch. them all are, like Hattie, trying to find a brand new commence in a city that would as soon as have represented the rock-solid base of yank lifestyles yet that's itself challenged, in 2001, by way of cell-phone towers and chain shops, suffering kin farms and fundamentalist Christians.What Hattie makes of this case is on the heart of a unique that asks deep and soaking up questions about faith, domestic, the United States, what pals are, what love is, and, within the biggest experience, what “worlds” we make of the world.Moving, funny, compassionate, and expansive, global and city is as wealthy in personality because it is brilliantly evocative of its time and position. this can be a actually masterful novel—enthralling, crucial, and enjoyable.

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Who are keeping a low profile today, though what with their torn clothes and low-concept hair control, they’ll bother some people anyway. Ginny, for instance—they’ll bother Ginny. Hattie herself is more bothered that she didn’t think to bring along her new neighbors—Chhung and family—even as she thinks, Those eyes. That jitter. That knife. And despite her best efforts not to think about it: Pol Pot. The killing fields. It’s the world come to town, Joe would have said. As it will, you know, as it will.

And why aren’t they here? Well, never mind. Hattie goes on with her joint trials. “Please say hello,” she says. “Please tell them welcome to the neighborhood. Tell them they can drop by anytime. ” It does seem unmannerly to leave it there on the ground, but then this Chhung is not exactly Mr. Manners himself. “I’m going to leave you your drawer,” she says. ” He nods, more or less. Pecking. A porta-potty sits in a dry spot up behind the trailer—a ladies’ toilet they have, for some reason, with a little triangle-skirted figure on its green door.

Well, that’s not so simple, Hattie happens to know. But never mind; this is an age of flux. She, Hattie Kong, came from China; her neighbors from Cambodia; is there anyone not coming from somewhere? And not necessarily to a city with a cozy unhygienic ghetto, but sometimes—if not immediately, then eventually—to a fresh-aired town like Riverlake. A town that would have pink cheeks, if a town had cheeks. Riverlake being a good town, an independent town—a town that dates to before the Revolution. A town that was American before America was American, people claim—though, well, it’s facing change now, and not just from the Cambodian family.

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World and Town by Gish Jen


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