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We were a family of three girls. By Chinese standards, that wasn't lucky.

November 2013

In Chinatown, In Chinatown, everyone knew our story. Outsiders jerked their chins, looked at us, shook their heads. We heard things. In this profoundly moving novel, Fae Myenne Ng takes View Product. Homebase: A Novel.

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Homebase is the coming of age story of Rainsford Chan in s and '60s California. Rainsford is a fourth-generation Chinese American named after the town where his great-grandfather worked during the gold rush. James has a father.

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Good wine does funny things with words and time. Milliken juxtaposes the internal against the external quite well; her characters are in a constant conflict about how much they owe each other.

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In turn, she asks us: When do we use storytelling to soothe our own wounds, and when do we use it to make others feel better? Characters bear burdens of their familial sins; they repeat them as much as they are marked by them. I think of the tank tops I used to wear, showing off my bruises. I think of a man saved from cancer to a pack a day.

Bookslut | If I'd Known You Were Coming by Kate Milliken

I think of the house I have never asked to see, that I have never been invited to visit. I think of the booze in my orange juice then and now. Charm as in delight; charm as if by magic. In a prose that's never less than lucidly graceful, Heather A. Slomski conjures stories distinguished by, and memorable for, their imaginative power. Civility reigns, voices are not raised, much goes unsaid. But just beneath the sophisticated composure are longing, loss, heartbreak.

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And how intensely familiar is the table itself, which made this reader suddenly understand how much of our real life takes place there. Heather A. Slomski is truly a fresh voice on the scene, and The Lovers Set Down Their Spoons is that rare thing, a new book as innovative in its design as it is compulsively readable.

In prose spare and daring, poised yet startling, these stories take shape in reality, but reality, they sometimes show us, is not a separate realm from the fantastic or the surreal.