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Descripción de la editorial
Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
for literature that confronts racism and examines diversity
Winner of the 2017 Chautauqua Prize
Finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize
A New York Times Notable Book
"Riveting and luminous...Like the best books, this one haunts the reader well after the end."—Jesmyn Ward
“[A] complex, beautiful novel . . . Stunning.”—NPR, Best Books of 2016
“Intense and dreamlike . . . filled with quiet resonances across time.”—The New Yorker
Sly, funny, intelligent, and artfully structured, The Fortunes recasts American history through the lives of Chinese Americans and reimagines the multigenerational novel through the fractures of immigrant family experience.
Inhabiting four lives—a railroad baron’s valet who unwittingly ignites an explosion in Chinese labor; Hollywood’s first Chinese movie star; a hate-crime victim whose death mobilizes the Asian American community; and a biracial writer visiting China for an adoption—this novel captures and capsizes over a century of our history, showing that even as family bonds are denied and broken, a community can survive—as much through love as blood.
“A prophetic work, with passages of surpassing beauty.”—Joyce Carol Oates, Anisfield-Wolf Book Award citation
“A poignant, cascading four-part novel . . . Outstanding.”—David Mitchell, Guardian
“The most honest, unflinching, cathartically biting novel I’ve read about the Chinese American experience.”—Celeste Ng
Though billed as a novel, The Fortunes could more aptly be described as a collection of four novellas, each of which explores a different facet of Chinese-American experience. The first section, "Gold," is set during the mid-19th century and follows Ling, an orphan, from his childhood on Pearl River in China to Gold Mountain, Calif., where he works first in a laundry and then as a valet before becoming an unlikely organizer of Chinese workers building the Central Pacific Railway. In "Silver," Davies imagines the lonely inner life of 1930s actress Anna May Wong, Hollywood's first Chinese-American star, who has affairs with many leading men but never marries any of them. "Jade" takes place in the 1980s, against the backdrop of the dying American auto industry, and focuses on the mistaken identity of a Chinese-American man taken to be Japanese in a deadly strip club brawl. In "Pearl," the final section, a present-day middle-aged American writer, whose mother was from China, now finds himself there for the first time to adopt a baby girl with his Caucasian wife. The book's scope is impressive, but what's even more staggering is the utter intimacy and honesty of each character's introspection. More extraordinary still is the depth and the texture created by the juxtaposition of different eras, making for a story not just of any one person but of hundreds of years and tens of millions of people. Davies (The Welsh Girl) has created a brilliant, absorbing masterpiece.