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Activities of Daily Living Summary and Reviews

Activities of Daily Living

A Novel

by Lisa Hsiao Chen

Activities of Daily Living by Lisa Hsiao Chen X
Activities of Daily Living by Lisa Hsiao Chen
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Apr 12, 2022
    288 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A lucid and moving debut novel on the interconnection between work and life, loneliness and kinship, and the projects that occupy our time.

How do we take stock of a life―by what means, and by what measure? This is the question that preoccupies Alice, a Taiwanese immigrant in her late thirties. In the off-hours from her day job, Alice struggles to create a project about the enigmatic downtown performance artist Tehching Hsieh and his monumental, yearlong 1980s performance pieces. As Alice roots deeper into Hsieh's radical use of time and his mysterious disappearance from the art world, her project starts metabolizing events from her own life. She wanders from subway rides to street protests, loses touch with a friend, and becomes a caretaker for her stepfather, a Vietnam vet whose dream of making traditional Chinese furniture dissolved in alcoholism and dementia.

Moving between present-day and 1980s New York City, with detours to Silicon Valley and the Venice Biennale, Activities of Daily Living is a startlingly precise, vivid, and tender examination of the passage of time.


About the Author
Born in Taipei, Lisa Hsiao Chen received a 2018 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award and fellowships from the Center for Fiction and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Workspace program. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she lives in New York.

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A lucid and moving debut novel on the interconnection between work and life, loneliness and kinship, and the projects that occupy our time.

Those assigned this book will receive a print copy by mail.

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