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MAY-LEE CHAI at Books Inc. Laurel Village

May-Lee Chai author photo and Useful Phrases for Immigrants cover image

San Francisco State Creative Writing Professor and award-winning author May-Lee Chai shares her critically-acclaimed story collection, Useful Phrases for Immigrants

In the title story of this timely and innovative collection, a young woman wearing a Prada coat attempts to redeem a coupon for plastic storage bins while her in-laws are at home watching the Chinese news and taking her private phone calls. It is the lively and wise juxtaposition of cultures, generations, and emotions that characterize Mai-lee Chai's amazing stories. Within them, readers will find a complex blend of cultures spanning China, the Chinese diaspora in America, and finally, the world at large.

With luminous prose and sharp-eyed observations, Chai reveals her characters' hopes and fears, and our own: a grieving historian seeking solace from an old lover in Beijing, a young girl discovering her immigrant mother's infidelity, workers constructing a shopping mall in central China who make a shocking discovery. Families struggle with long-held grudges, reinvent traditions, and make mysterious visits to shadowy strangers from their past--all rendered with economy and beauty.

With hearts that break and sometimes mend, with families who fight and sometimes forgive, the timely stories in Useful Phrases for Immigrants illuminate complicated lives with empathy and passion. Chai's stories are essential reading for an increasingly globalized world.

Event date: 
Saturday, October 27, 2018 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Books Inc.
3515 California Street
San Francisco, CA
Event Terms: 
Useful Phrases for Immigrants: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780932112767
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Blair - October 23rd, 2018