The End of East: Book summary and reviews of The End of East by Jen Sookfong Lee

The End of East

by Jen Sookfong Lee

The End of East by Jen Sookfong Lee X
The End of East by Jen Sookfong Lee
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2008
    256 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

At age eighteen, Seid Quan is the first in the Chan family to emigrate from China to Vancover in 1913. Paving the way for a wife and son, he is profoundly lonely, even as he joins the Chinatown community.

Weaving in and out of the past and the present, The End of East pieces together the spellbinding tale of Seid Quan's family: his wife Shew Lin, whose hope for her family are threatened by her own misguided actions; his son Pon Man, who struggles with obligation and desire; his daughter-in-law Siu Sang, who tries to be the caregiver everyone expects, even as she feels herself unraveling; and his granddaughter Sammy, who finds herself embroiled in a volatile mixture of seduction, grief, and duty.

An exquisite debut of isolation, immigration, romance, and insanity, The End of East sets family conflicts against the backdrop of Vancouver's Chinatown--a city within a city where dreams are shattered as quickly as they're built, and where history repeats itself through the generations. It is a bold and accomplished debut from one of Canada's brightest new literary stars.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"An impressive debut novel that delves into the immigration experiences of three generations. ... An enrapturing exploration of identity that proves that family is unshakeable." - Kirkus Reviews.

"The present ceaselessly mirrors the past in this enlightening look at Vancouver's slice of the Chinese diaspora." - Publishers Weekly.

"An emotional powerhouse of a novel...calls to mind Ishiguro's Booker Prize winner The Remains of the Day. This is a book that can sit on a shelf of novels by Ondaatje, Atwood, and Laurence." - Halifax Chronicle Herald.

"Compelling and complex...richly layered...The End of East is fine prose." - The Globe and Mail.

"Impressive in its accomplished prose and its ambitious three-generational scope. Lee's talent is undeniable." - National Post.

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Reader Reviews

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Louise J

Nice Story
I wasn’t sure at first whether I was going to like this novel or not but surprise, surprise, it provided such deep and insightful information about each of the characters that I was totally taken aback. The novel provoked contemplation and emotions without effort. A quick read and beautiful story.

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More Information

Originally published by Knopf Canada's New Face of Fiction program which was the launching ground for Yann Martel's Life of Pi and Ann-Marie MacDonald's Fall on Your Knees.

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