By Brian Leung
(Shaye Areheart Books, Hardcover, 9780307351647, 288pp.)
Publication Date: June 12, 2007
List Price: $23.00*
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A novel of rare grace and power, Lost Men is the story of a father and a son each confronting his past. Westen Chan was just eight years old when his Caucasian mother died and his father, Xin, sent him away to be raised by her relatives.
Twenty years later, after a lifetime of estrangement, Westen receives an invitation from his father to travel with him to China—a prom-ise Xin once made when Westen was a child. So it is that two strangers—a father and a son—travel halfway around the world to a land that one of them knows intimately and the other has never seen. As they tour the country, the two men reveal themselves slowly and awkwardly: Westen’s history of failed relationships and his conflicted cultural identity; Xin’s regret at leaving his son and the terrible secret he’s kept too long. And in the end, their relationship may just hinge on the contents of a sealed letter written by Westen’s mother before her death—one that threatens to answer the lifelong question neither of them has dared to ask.
Powerful, moving, and beautiful, Lost Men is a stunning literary novel that explores cultural and ethnic identity, the meaning of family, the exigencies of fate, and the lengths to which we will go to reconnect with those we fear we have lost. Brian Leung reveals both the intimate hearts of his characters and the telling details of place with equal and substantial grace.
BRIAN LEUNG is the author of World Famous Love Acts, winner of the Asian American Literary Award and the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. He was born and raised in San Diego County, and currently lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where he is an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Louisville.