Little Gods


Product Details

$27.99  $26.03
Custom House
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.3 X 1.0 inches | 1.0 pounds

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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.


"Little Gods is built from familiar tropes: love amid violence, lost parents, secrets held by those closest to us. But Jin brings a fresh imagination to them, thoughtfully leveraging the language of physics without making the narrative cold or overladen. Her ultimate principle is simple and effective: How do we preserve love in the face of the forces that threaten it?"--USA Today
"A brilliant debut--intellectually bold but with a startling emotional core, Meng Jin's Little Gods is a huge pleasure. Watch out: this writer's career has just begun. What delights above all is literary ambition: Meng Jin's gift merges science, politics and art: the kind of audacity our world needs now."--Gina Apostol
"Meng Jin's beautiful debut novel is ambitious in the best ways: meticulously observed, daringly imagined, rich in character and history. Ranging across continents, cultures and generations, Jin poses profound questions: how might we know ourselves, or the people we love? And what truths, if any, travel with us?"
--Claire Messud
"A powerful story about family, immigration and the things we inherit along the way. Meng Jin writes beautifully on the mysteries of the past, both politically and personally, both as a universal burden to be carried collectively and as a conveyance for our individual liberation...Stunning."--Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, author of Brief Encounters with the Enemy
"Ambitious [and] formally complex...a powerful, poignant portrait of a woman crippled by her fear of looking back."--Washington Post
"Steeped in trauma, loss, and imperfect love, Little Gods is a novel about performing the self, filtered through academia, abandonment, and migration.... Smart and emotionally devastating."
"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. This is a beautiful, intensely moving debut."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Jin's debut is at heart a mystery, as a young Chinese American woman returns to China to try to understand her recently deceased mother's decisions and to find her biological father... Su Lan is a fascinating character of a type rarely seen in fiction, an ambitious woman whose intellect and drive allow her to envision changing the very nature of time.”--Kirkus Reviews
"Skillfully revealed, exquisitely rendered."--Booklist (starred review)

"Spectacular and emotionally polyphonic...That Jin has managed to craft such an intimate, emotionally complex story is an awesome achievement. That she managed to do it in her debut novel, doubly so."
--Omar El Akkad, BookPage (starred review)
"Though it initially sounds like a quest narrative, Little Gods proves to be much more as it wrestles with grief, immigration and the durability of memory."
"Brilliant....Elegantly written, emotionally compelling, and thought provoking on every page."--The Millions
"Jin treads purposefully over a vast landscape of difficult subjects - aging, class anxiety, political instability, intellectual insecurity, racism, migration - unflinchingly deconstructing and then moving beyond each. It is that willingness to follow such threads to their full conclusion...which gives "Little Gods" its greatest strength."--Christian Science Monitor
"Reminiscent of Ferrante...are Jin's protagonist's larger-than-life talent, drive and perversity. In her intelligence, vulnerability, volatility, desperation, narcissism and self-destructiveness, Su Lan -- despite her voicelessness -- is as complex a protagonist as any I can recall....Little Gods expands the future of the immigrant novel."--New York Times Book Review
"An intelligent, somewhat restrained look at the effects that tectonic political shifts have on ordinary citizens, effects that reverberate across the decades, and for its young American protagonist, even across oceans."--San Francisco Chronicle
"If the mark of a good novel is its ability to delicately rewire the reader's brain, then Meng Jin has given us a very good novel....Little Gods is a page-turner--but all the while it winks, reminding us that possible explanations in our universe are as varied as the beings who populate it."--The Paris Review, Staff Pick
"Jin's richly textured, unsparing writing questions whether a self can exist unmarked by the past."--New Yorker