Dear Chrysanthemums: A Novel in Stories


Product Details

$18.00  $16.74
Scribner Book Company
Publish Date
5.3 X 8.3 X 0.6 inches | 0.25 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Fiona Sze-Lorrain is a fiction writer, poet, musician, translator, and editor. She writes and translates in English, French, and Chinese. She is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Rain in Plural (Princeton, 2020) and The Ruined Elegance (Princeton, 2016), and fifteen books of translation. A finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Best Translated Book Award among other honors, she was a 2019-20 Abigail R. Cohen Fellow at the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination and the inaugural writer-in-residence at the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires. She lives in Paris and has performed worldwide as a zheng harpist.


Praise for Dear Chrysanthemums "In nimble, evocative prose, these stories follow Chinese women from 1946 to 2016 as they brave moments of personal and national turmoil." -New York Times Book Review "A haunting debut... At once brutal and tender, this novel of women's lives has the power to move and complicate our understanding of the long shadow cast by revolution as well as the inextinguishable longing every person has for beauty, love, art, and selfhood." -Asymptote "Dear Chrysanthemums may be short at just 160 pages, but the unique structure of connecting the stories through the many decades of modern Chinese history and some of the same characters gives it the feel of a longer novel." -Asian Review of Books "Attention to detail, especially with respect to numbers and music, is part of what makes the novel a joy to read... Sze-Lorrain pushes the boundaries of the Asian American novel into a global conversation... Dreamy and haunting..." -Columbia Journal of Literary Criticism "Sze-Lorrain is to be praised for her ornate, intimate stories. Sze-Lorrain has a gift for capturing distinctive voices, and this shines through in all of her characters." -No Man is an Island "Provocative... In Dear Chrysanthemums, women try to free their bodies to be instruments of life as much as death, of self-expression as much as silence..." -Mekong Review "Sze-Lorrain does not only shed light on the losses but also on the hypocritical nature of communist regimes. Perspectives on modern Chinese history like these are rare - and for a reason. A recommended read to those who wonder, but do not seek answers." -Mochi Magazine "Inventive and powerful... [a] stunning novel..." -Soapberry Review "Elegant... Sze-Lorrain's lyrical writing suggests that rebellion, even if it has tragic consequences in the present, might bear fruit in the future through artistic expression." -Shelf Awareness "With shattering clarity, Sze-Lorrain teases apart the layers of complicity and survival that create a web of secrets, casting doubt on ever knowing the full truth behind each person's story." -Booklist "Graceful... Sze-Lorrain effortlessly evokes the spirit of each setting, be it the ardent fervor of nationalism during the Chinese Civil War or the seedy glamor of a dive bar in Paris, and she imbues her characters with haunting melancholy as victims 'doomed to the mishaps of verity and the equally hurtful edges of fiction.' This author is one to watch." -Publishers Weekly "Sze-Lorrain excels in the lyrical mode as her attention to sensory observation illustrates how seemingly minor details such as the play of light from a shattered stained-glass window or the geometrically interlocking joints in a table can become microcosmic worlds if one knows how to look. Weaving these details together with an orchestral sensibility, the novel serves as a multilayered meditation on intergenerational trauma, memory, and resilience... By turns delicate and wild, this novel will linger like a chrysanthemum's fragrance long after the last page." -Kirkus "In Dear Chrysanthemums, Fiona Sze-Lorrain collects the shards of modern Chinese history and builds a prismatic, gorgeously intimate story of women who face impossible choices and losses in order to survive. Unflinching and haunting, the novel is a vivid portrayal of disillusionment and exile. Step by step, Sze-Lorrain constructs an intricate and deeply moving web that will leave you stunned by the end." -Tsering Yangzom Lama, author of We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies, shortlisted for the 2022 Giller Prize "How can a book be simultaneously so beautiful and so heartbreaking? Dear Chrysanthemums explores the repercussions of the major events of modern Chinese history-the Chinese civil war, the Cultural Revolution, the Tiananmen Square massacre-as they echo throughout lives in the diaspora. Sze-Lorrain's storytelling is graceful yet fierce-this is an important novel about histories that have changed the world." -Shaw...