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BookBrowse Reviews Real Americans by Rachel Khong

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Real Americans

A Novel

by Rachel Khong

Real Americans by Rachel Khong X
Real Americans by Rachel Khong
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  • Published:
    Apr 2024, 416 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Pei Chen
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A jewel box of a novel, filled with multiple angles, stories, and interpretations, each as fascinating as the one prior.

Rachel Khong's sophomore novel Real Americans is an intergenerational saga that questions racial and cultural identity and our control over our destinies. Over the course of the book, we meet May, her daughter Lily, and her grandson Nick. May, who flees China's Cultural Revolution and the persecution of scientists and academics, is driven by a passion for understanding gene expression. In America, she pursues her research at a lab affiliated with a powerful family's pharmaceutical empire. She remakes herself and her family to fit into her new homeland, raising Lily to speak only English, leave milk and cookies for Santa, and pack bologna-and-white-bread sandwiches for lunch. Yet Lily, a Florida girl who by her early twenties has barely left the state, let alone the country, finds herself routinely introduced as "Korean" and "Thai" by her boss at the travel magazine where she is an unpaid...

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