King of the Armadillos


Product Details

$28.99  $26.96
Flatiron Books
Publish Date
6.47 X 9.78 X 1.15 inches | 1.13 pounds

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About the Author

Wendy Chin-Tanner is the author of the poetry collections Turn and Anyone Will Tell You, editor of Embodied: An Intersectional Feminist Comics Poetry Anthology, and copublisher at A Wave Blue World, an independent publishing company for graphic novels. Born and raised in New York City, she lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. King of the Armadillos is her first novel.


"You'll find you are holding your breath at many points of this story." --Amy Loewy, Southern Bookseller Review

"Chin-Tanner's exacting details render little-known medical history, deftly interwoven with the Chinese American experience, from paper sons to debilitating racism to bifurcated identity, to create a satisfying, polyphonic narrative about the intricate relationships within families by birth and circumstance..." --Booklist

"The historical perspective, empathy across cultures and centuries, vivid sensory insight and unremitting though forgiving honesty, all entwined with the book's sheer riveting romance, family tragedy, humble epic sweep, and coming-of-age storytelling, is phenomenal... Wendy Chin-Tanner has reached high and deep among the shelves of family and community experience, and retrieved a masterwork." --HiLobrow Magazine

"King of the Armadillos
pulses with the miraculous: the power of art and heart to heal a body from the inside-out. Excavating a history that comes at an important moment in the present tense, the novel asks: how do we want to treat each other in the face of dangerous tensions around otherness and illness? Wendy Chin-Tanner answers with her art. A triumph." --Lidia Yuknavitch, bestselling and acclaimed author of The Book of Joan

"Engrossing, rich with emotion, and loaded with unforgettable characters, King of the Armadillos is a mesmerizing work of historical fiction." --Alex Segura, bestselling and acclaimed author of Secret Identity

"A beautifully written story of a young man struggling with Hansen's disease that captures both the tragedy and triumph of Carville." --Pam Fessler, author of Carville's Cure: Leprosy, Stigma, and the Fight for Justice

"This remarkable, brilliant book shows us the power of exile--and the dreams of freedom. Wendy Chin-Tanner pulls back the veil on a federal leprosarium in the 1950s, with a rich cast of characters who find refuge in art and love. Inspired by her own family history, it rings with authenticity and delight, finding great joy even in sorrow. An absolute treasure of a book." --Rene Denfeld, bestselling author of The Child Finder

"Wendy Chin-Tanner's King of the Armadillos is both a moving coming-of-age story and a fiercely intelligent love letter to the author's father. It is beautifully written and entertaining, but doesn't shy away from questions of race, class, and belonging. A fantastic debut." --Cari Luna, author of The Revolution of Every Day