A Recommended Read from: Entertainment Weekly * Buzzfeed * Good Morning America * USA Today * Harper's Bazaar * Fortune * A.V. Club * The Millions * Lit Hub * International Examiner * Publishers Weekly
When her husband suddenly disappears, a young woman must uncover where he went—and who she might be without him—in this striking debut of immigration, identity, and marriage.
After another taxing day as the sole female employee at her New York City tech startup, Edwina comes home to find that her husband, Marlin, has packed up a suitcase and left. The only question now is why. Did he give up on their increasingly hopeless quest to secure their green cards and decide to return to Malaysia? Was it the death of his father that sent him into a tailspin? Or has his strange, sudden change in personality finally made Marlin and Edwina strangers to each other?
As Edwina searches the city for traces of her husband, she simultaneously sifts through memories of their relationship, hoping to discover the moment when something went wrong. All the while, a coworker is making increasingly uncomfortable advances toward her. And she can’t hide the truth about Marlin’s disappearance from her overbearing, eccentric mother for much longer. Soon Edwina will have to decide how much she is willing to sacrifice in order to stay in her marriage and in America.
Poignant and darkly funny, Edge Case is a searing meditation on intimacy, estrangement, and the fractured nature of identity. In this moving debut, YZ Chin explores the imperfect yet enduring relationships we hold to country and family.
“Chin’s specificity and wonderfully drawn minor characters add depth and richness…. Not only a subtly provocative depiction of the tech industry, and this country, as tilting ever more off-kilter; but also a realistic portrayal of a woman in crisis.” —Lauren Oyler, The New York Times Book Review
Chin makes an impressive debut with this sharp take on faltering romance, the American dream, and self-realization. Edwina and her husband, Marlin, are both Malaysian immigrants working for tech startups in New York City. Edwina endures a sexist and uninspiring work environment at AInstein, hoping that if she excels in her job her employers will sponsor her green card application. Then she comes home one day to discover Marlin has moved all of his things out. For the next 18 days, Edwina searches for her husband and tries to figure out how their marriage went wrong. When Edwina met Marlin, she was drawn to his logical mind, but more recently Marlin had turned to psychic dowsing and other forms of divination in the six months since his father died. While Edwina was alarmed by Marlin's behavior, she also wonders whether her mental health has been damaged by her mother, who constantly criticizes Edwina's weight and suggests that Edwina's struggles are the consequences of transgressions committed in previous reincarnations. Edwina's wry outlook and wrestling with thoughts about what it means to make it in America will resonate with readers. Those who enjoy the work of Charles Yu should take a look.
Hard to read
Characters seem weak