Nights When Nothing Happened Summary and Reviews

Nights When Nothing Happened

by Simon Han

Nights When Nothing Happened by Simon Han X
Nights When Nothing Happened by Simon Han
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2020
    272 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

From the outside, the Chengs seem like so-called model immigrants. Once Patty landed a tech job near Dallas, she and Liang grew secure enough to have a second child, and to send for their first from his grandparents back in China. Isn't this what they sacrificed so much for?

But then little Annabel begins to sleepwalk at night, putting into motion a string of misunderstandings that not only threaten to set their community against them but force to the surface the secrets that have made them fear one another. How can a man make peace with the terrors of his past? How can a child regain trust in unconditional love? How can a family stop burying its history and forge a way through it, to a more honest intimacy?

Nights When Nothing Happened is gripping storytelling immersed in the crosscurrents that have reshaped the American landscape, from a prodigious new literary talent.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[R]emarkable...Han's characters are authentic, vulnerable, and utterly convincing, delivering one dynamite novel. An astutely realized portrait of the collateral damage wrought by the pursuit of the American dream." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[A]mbitious...Han succeeds in drawing the portrait of a new American family while demonstrating a talent for creating a sense of place through the eyes of immigrants. The premise is intriguing, but Han doesn't quite stick the landing." - Publishers Weekly

"In this exemplary debut, Han explores childhood trauma and the impact words and silence can have on both building and harming relationships. He writes with sensitivity and tenderness, allowing his fully fleshed-out characters to take on lives of their own and tell their heartbreaking perspectives directly to readers. Readers will be gripped by this beautiful debut." - Booklist

"Brings texture, nuance, and subtlety to the reductionist condescension of the 'model minority' trope." - The Millions

"A tender, spiky family saga about love in all its mysterious incarnations. Simon Han is a wonderfully adventurous and sensitive writer." - Lorrie Moore

"In this beautiful, unsettling novel, Simon Han captures the state of being awake and yet asleep, of belonging and yet not, of waiting for the moment when the world opens up. With the turn of a crystalline sentence, he reveals how fragile we are, and what it takes to survive. An unbelievable debut." - Kevin Wilson, author of Nothing to See Here and The Family Fang

"Absolutely luminous. Han weaves the transience of suburbia between the highs and lows of a family saga, illustrating what a parent owes a child, what a child owes their parents, and what simply cannot be repaid. His novel shocks, awes, and delights." - Bryan Washington, author of Lot

"Simon Han explores the desire to belong—to a marriage, a family, a community, a country. Nights When Nothing Happened is about how we use words and silences to connect and to wound, and how we make sacrifices for those we love. It broke my heart and gave me hope, all at the same time." - Angie Kim, author of Miracle Creek

This information about Nights When Nothing Happened shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Simon Han

Simon Han was born in Tianjin, China, and raised in various cities in Texas. His stories and essays have appeared in the Atlantic, the Texas Observer, Guernica, the Iowa Review, Electric Literature, and LitHub. The recipient of several fiction awards and arts fellowships, he lives in Carrollton, Texas.

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