An exuberant and wise multigenerational debut novel about the complicated lives and loves of people working in everyone’s favorite Chinese restaurant. The Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland, is not only a beloved go-to setting for hunger pangs and celebrations; it is its own world, inhabited by waiters and kitchen staff who have been fighting, loving, and aging within its walls for decades. When disaster strikes, this working family’s controlled chaos is set loose, forcing each character to confront the conflicts that fast-paced restaurant life has kept at bay. Owner Jimmy Han hopes to leave his late father’s homespun establishment for a fancier one. Jimmy’s older brother, Johnny, and Johnny’s daughter, Annie, ache to return to a time before a father’s absence and a teenager’s silence pushed them apart. Nan and Ah-Jack, longtime Duck House employees, are tempted to turn their thirty-year friendship into something else, even as Nan’s son, Pat, struggles to stay out of trouble. And when Pat and Annie, caught in a mix of youthful lust and boredom, find themselves in a dangerous game that implicates them in the Duck House tragedy, their families must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice to help their children. Generous in spirit, unaffected in its intelligence, multi-voiced, poignant, and darkly funny, Number One Chinese Restaurant looks beyond red tablecloths and silkscreen murals to share an unforgettable story about youth and aging, parents and children, and all the ways that our families destroy us while also keeping us grounded and alive.
A man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he did not commit describes how he became a victim of a flawed legal system, recounting the years he shared with fellow inmates who were eventually executed before his exoneration.
Miranda July meets Mary Karr in this brilliant debut novel from Jen Beagin, Whiting Award winner and “one of the freshest voices I've read in years—funny, wise, whip-smart and compassionate” (Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins), about a cleaning lady on a quest for self-acceptance after her relationship with a loveable junkie goes awry. Jen Beagin’s quirky, moving, “frank and unflinching” (Josh Ferris) debut novel introduces an unforgettable character, Mona—almost twenty-four, emotionally adrift, and cleaning houses to get by. Handing out clean needles to drug addicts, she falls for a recipient she calls Mr. Disgusting, who proceeds to break her heart in unimaginable ways. In search of healing, Mona decamps to Taos, New Mexico, for a fresh start, where she finds a community of seekers and cast-offs, all of whom have one or two things to teach her—the pajama-wearing, blissed-out New Agers, the slightly creepy client with peculiar tastes in controlled substances, the psychic who might really be psychic. But always lurking just beneath the surface are her memories of growing up in a chaotic, destructive family from which she’s trying to disentangle herself, and the larger legacy of the past she left behind. The story of Mona’s journey to find her place in this working-class American world is at once hilarious and wonderfully strange, true to life and boldly human, and introduces a stunningly one-of-a-kind new voice in American fiction.
From the award-winning journalist and best-selling author of America's Bitter Pill: a tour de force examination of 1) how and why major American institutions no longer serve us as they should, causing a deep rift between the vulnerable majority and the protected few, and 2) how some individuals and organizations are laying the foundation for real, lasting change. In this revelatory narrative covering the years 1967 to 2017, Steven Brill gives us a stunningly cogent picture of the broken system at the heart of our society. He shows us how, over the last half-century, America's core values--meritocracy, innovation, due process, free speech, and even democracy itself--have somehow managed to power its decline into dysfunction. They have isolated our best and brightest, whose positions at the top have never been more secure or more remote. The result has been an erosion of responsibility and accountability, an epidemic of shortsightedness, an increasingly hollow economic and political center, and millions of Americans gripped by apathy and hopelessness. By examining the people and forces behind the rise of big-money lobbying, legal and financial engineering, the demise of private-sector unions, and a hamstrung bureaucracy, Brill answers the question on everyone's mind: How did we end up this way? Finally, he introduces us to those working quietly and effectively to repair the damages. At once a diagnosis of our national ills, a history of their development, and a prescription for a brighter future, Tailspin is a work of riveting journalism--and a welcome antidote to political despair.
More than two decades after her twin is kidnapped by North Korean operatives, brilliant CIA employee Jenna obtains information that her sister may still be alive and undertakes a daring mission into the heart of the regime, in a thriller that also traces the parallel stories of a peasant-turned-black-market businesswoman and a high-ranking official who discovers his traitorous heritage. By the author of Flight from Berlin.
By the heroic pediatrician who rallied a community and brought the fight for justice to national attention, the powerful first-hand account of the Flint water crisis, the signature environmental disaster of our time, and a dramatic and inspiring story of citizen advocacy and action. In the heart of the world's wealthiest nation, one hundred thousand people were poisoned by the water supply for two years--with the knowing complicity of their government. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the brilliant child of Iraqi immigrants who chose to practice pediatrics among one of the country's most vulnerable populations, first became aware of the problem when mothers came to her asking if it was safe to make formula from the brown water coming from their taps. Then she observed other problems--physical and cognitive--among the children she treated. She suspected lead had gotten into the water supply, but the government stonewalled her inquiries. With the help of volunteer researchers, courageous parents, and her own dramatic undercover investigations, she exposed the government's cover-up and blew the whistle on one of the emblematic environmental disasters of our time. Here is the inspiring story of how Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha rallied a community with her findings and bold action, and blew open the horrific reality of how a botched austerity policy, government ineptitude, and bureaucratic indifference placed the lives of 10,000 children at risk. The book is a medical and scientific thriller, and simultaneously the story of an incredible woman, immigrant, doctor, and scientist for whom environmental and social justice activism have been lifelong commitments. Just as importantly, it will tell the larger story of Flint, of a proud people caught in the midst of economic change, industrial and environmental decline, and governmental neglect, and the injustices, vulnerabilities, and risks borne by such poverty-line populations in our country. It captures a timely and essential story of how communities can come together to fight for social justice, even in opposition to their own governments.