The Fortunes

  • by Peter Ho Davies
  • Narrated by James Chen
  • 10 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the bestselling, acclaimed author of The Welsh Girl comes a groundbreaking, provocative new novel recasting American history through the lives of Chinese Americans.
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.

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What the Critics Say

"[Narrator] James Chen delivers the characters' personalities without falling into caricature.... Chen's understated portrayals help listeners understand that, although circumstances have clearly changed since the mid-1800s, Chinese-American concerns, even in the 21st century, have remained unexpectedly constant. The audiobook provides an interesting perspective on the current immigration debate in America." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The threads throughout the stories.

I enjoyed this novel very much. Particularly the threads to follow.... the building and contribution good and bad of the railroad, Leland Stanford, the ongoing discrimination, the guilt, and striving for the elephant. So many subtleties. And there is hope.
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- Perkbrooke

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-06-2016
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio