"Meng Jin is a writer whose sweep is as intimate as it is global. Little Gods is a novel about the heart-wracking ways in which we move through history and time. A fierce and intelligent debut from a writer with longitude and latitude embedded in her vision." --Colum McCann, New York Times bestselling author of Let the Great World Spin
Combining the emotional resonance of Home Fire with the ambition and innovation of Asymmetry, a lyrical and thought-provoking debut novel that explores the complex web of grief, memory, time, physics, history, and selfhood in the immigrant experience, and the complicated bond between daughters and mothers.
On the night of June Fourth, a woman gives birth in a Beijing hospital alone. Thus begins the unraveling of Su Lan, a brilliant physicist who until this moment has successfully erased her past, fighting what she calls the mind's arrow of time.
When Su Lan dies unexpectedly seventeen years later, it is her daughter Liya who inherits the silences and contradictions of her life. Liya, who grew up in America, takes her mother's ashes to China--to her, an unknown country. In a territory inhabited by the ghosts of the living and the dead, Liya's memories are joined by those of two others: Zhu Wen, the woman last to know Su Lan before she left China, and Yongzong, the father Liya has never known. In this way a portrait of Su Lan emerges: an ambitious scientist, an ambivalent mother, and a woman whose relationship to her own past shapes and ultimately unmakes Liya's own sense of displacement.
A story of migrations literal and emotional, spanning time, space and class, Little Gods is a sharp yet expansive exploration of the aftermath of unfulfilled dreams, an immigrant story in negative that grapples with our tenuous connections to memory, history, and self.
About the Author
Meng Jin was born in Shanghai and lives in San Francisco. A Kundiman Fellow, she is a graduate of Harvard and Hunter College. Little Gods is her first novel.
Emily Woo Zeller began her voice-over career by voicing animation in Asia. She returned to the United States in 2009 and found a natural fit as an audiobook narrator. Described by AudioFile magazine as doing an extraordinary job of varying the voices in the dialogue without losing the intimacy of the story, Emily's multilingual, multicultural framework brings a particularly unique, clear-eyed, and intimate perspective into Asian American narratives. While she specializes in Asian American narratives, Emily's work spans a broad spectrum, including young adult fiction and such titles as The Whites of Their Eyes by Jill Lepore and The Sex Diaries Project by Arianne Cohen. She also narrated Gulp by Mary Roach, for which she won an AudioFile Earphones Award.
François Chau is a voice talent and audiobook narrator.
"A fierce and intelligent debut from a writer with longitude and latitude embedded in her vision."
-- "Colum McCann, New York Times bestselling author"
"Crossing continents and spanning decades, Meng Jin's intimate, emotionally complex debut novel is an awesome achievement."
-- "BookPage (starred review)"
"Skillfully revealed, exquisitely rendered."
-- "Booklist (starred review)"
"Artfully composed and emotionally searing, Jin's debut about lost girls, bottomless ambition, and the myriad ways family members can hurt and betray one another is gripping from beginning to end...Beautiful, intensely moving."
-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
"While the love triangle is interesting, perhaps most compelling is the story of one woman's single-minded pursuit of her ambition."
-- "Kirkus Reviews"