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Tomorrow in Shanghai: Book summary and reviews of Tomorrow in Shanghai by May-lee Chai

Tomorrow in Shanghai

Stories

by May-lee Chai

Tomorrow in Shanghai by May-lee Chai X
Tomorrow in Shanghai by May-lee Chai
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  • Published Aug 2022
    166 pages
    Genre: Short Stories

    Paperback Original.
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Book Summary

A short story collection exploring cultural complexities in China, the Chinese diaspora in America, and the world at large.

In a vibrant and illuminating follow-up to her award-winning story collection, Useful Phrases for Immigrants, May-lee Chai's latest collection Tomorrow in Shanghai explores multicultural complexities through lenses of class, wealth, age, gender, and sexuality—always tracking the nuanced, knotty, and intricate exchanges of interpersonal and institutional power.

These stories transport the reader, variously: to rural China, where a city doctor harvests organs to fund a wedding and a future for his family; on a vacation to France, where a white mother and her biracial daughter cannot escape their fraught relationship; inside the unexpected romance of two Chinese-American women living abroad in China; and finally, to a future Chinese colony on Mars, where an aging working-class woman lands a job as a nanny. Chai's stories are essential reading for an increasingly globalized world.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Chai showcases in her insightful collection protagonists attempting to figure out their roles in their families and careers...Chai commits brilliantly to the characters' competing drives for self-determination and approval, and conveys them with perfect subtlety. This slim but wide-ranging work is a great achievement." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Chai is straightforward in style, but her earnest, astute chronicling of the impact of the cruelties that people inflict on each other, whether in a small town on Earth or on a terraformed Mars, is powerful. Chai bears cleareyed witness, with righteous anger swirling beneath her pellucid prose." - Kirkus Reviews

"May-lee Chai's abundant gifts as a writer are on full display in this collection. In these stories we find people displaced, people who find themselves, by choice or by accident, navigating foreign lands and strange worlds, looking for the way home. With invention and nuance, Chai creates a sense of heightened awareness, of distance, both physical and emotional. Illuminating, heartbreaking, and yet also very funny, Tomorrow in Shanghai is a rewarding and entertaining read." - Charles Yu, National Book Award–winning author of Interior Chinatown

"There's a beautiful directness in these stories that is itself a kind of moral courage. This collection is full of heartbreak and love, unbearable yearning and fulfillment, and, over and over again, the pain of not being seen—and in May-lee Chai's sentences, there is wondrous seeing. Tomorrow in Shanghai is a superb and powerfully affecting collection." - Clare Beams, Bard Fiction Prize-winning author of We Show What We Have Learned and The Illness Lesson

"Tomorrow in Shanghai by May-lee Chai is an insightful, empathetic collection with a vast and imaginative range. These stories and narrators across the Chinese diaspora examine the complexity of familial relationships, probe our most formative experiences and memories, and ask what it means to belong." - K-Ming Chang, author of Bestiary

This information about Tomorrow in Shanghai was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. 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 they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream 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

May-lee Chai

May-lee Chai is the author of the American Book Award-winning story collection Useful Phrases for Immigrants and ten other books. Her prize-winning short prose has been published widely, including in the New England Review, Missouri Review, Seventeen, The Rumpus, ZYZZYVA, the Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, and the San Francisco Chronicle. The recipient of an NEA fellowship in prose, Chai is an associate professor in the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University.

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