"The Fortunes" Bay Area Book Release (San Francisco)

  • Arc Gallery & Studios 1246 Folsom Street San Francisco, CA, 94103 United States

Kearny Street Workshop and Kundiman present the SF Bay Area book release for Kundiman Faculty Peter Ho Davies's new novel, The Fortunes.

Free and open to the public. RSVP on Facebook.

Peter Ho Davies is the author of two novels, The Fortunes and The Welsh Girl (long-listed for the Man Booker Prize), and two short story collections, The Ugliest House in the World (winner of the John Llewelyn Rhys Prize) and Equal Love (A New York Times Notable Book). His work has appeared in Harpers, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, The Guardian and Washington Post among others, and has been widely anthologized, including selections for Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. In 2003 Granta magazine named him among its Best of Young British Novelists. Davies is also a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and is a winner of the PEN/Malamud Award. Born in Britain to Welsh and Chinese parents, he now makes his home in the US. He has taught at the University of Oregon and Emory University, and is currently on the faculty of the Helen Zell MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Sly, funny, intelligent, and artfully structured, The Fortunes recasts American history through the lives of Chinese Americans and reimagines the multigenerational novel through the fractures of immigrant family experience.

Inhabiting four lives—a railroad baron’s valet who unwittingly ignites an explosion in Chinese labor, Hollywood's first Chinese movie star, a hate-crime victim whose death mobilizes Asian Americans, and a biracial writer visiting China for an adoption—this novel captures and capsizes over a century of our history, showing that even as family bonds are denied and broken, a community can survive—as much through love as blood.

Building fact into fiction, spinning fiction around fact, Davies uses each of these stories—three inspired by real historical characters—to examine the process of becoming not only Chinese American, but American.