In her piercing and pignant fictional debut, Aimee Lee crosses continents and generations, from New York's Chinatown to pre-war Shaghai, to tell a tale of a young woman trapped between two worlds.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
BN.com price
(Save 15%)$18.99 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (24) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $2.49   
  • Used (18) from $1.99   

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price


In her piercing and pignant fictional debut, Aimee Lee crosses continents and generations, from New York's Chinatown to pre-war Shaghai, to tell a tale of a young woman trapped between two worlds.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Liu's impressive fiction debut her first book was the nonfiction Solitaire expresses the mingled fear and discomfort with which a woman confronts her heritage-both as a Chinese-American and as the daughter of a renowned wartime photographer. Though narrator Maibelle Chung spent much of her adolescence in New York's Chinatown, she always felt like an outsider because of her red hair and Anglo features. Now 28 and trying to follow her father's vocation as a photographer Maibelle is torn by unresolved conflicts. She decides that to preserve ``face,'' she must revisit the community of her youth. An acquaintance from her past, Tommy Wah, invites her to contribute images to a book he is writing on Chinatown's insularity; as Maibelle is welcomed back to their old neighborhood, she muses on a mentor who called her Caucasian mother the ``White Witch'' and encouraged her to marry Tommy, to break the witch's spell. Different spellings of Maibelle's name, including the Chinese ``Mei-bi'' and Americanized `Maibee,'' suggests the character's uncertainty about her identity. Yet Maibelle's constant ambivalence and the disjointed, episodic narrative make it difficult for the reader to feel empathy. Liu gets to the heart of her tale when Maibelle calls the old Chinese custom of footbinding ``torture,'' and a friend replies that ``in China passion and pain could not be separated.'' Though Liu's lyrical prose is graceful and evocative, real passion and pain seldom penetrate this narrative. Author tour. Sept.
Library Journal
When Maibelle Chung was growing up, she knew she was different, but hers was a difference with a twist. Only part Chinese, with curly red hair and green eyes, she felt distinctly out of place in New York's Chinatown. Though still haunted by inexplicable nightmares seemingly connected with her youth, Maibelle is reluctantly drawn back to the city she has been avoiding and begins investigating her past. She reestablishes an uneasy relationship with her dysfunctional family-her Chinese father, once a famed photojournalist and now a reclusive putterer; her Wisconsin-born mother, whose marriage was meant to be an exotic escape; and a wacky brother and sister-and reawakens painful memories as she takes out her long-abandoned camera to help her brother's estranged boyhood friend prepare a book on Chinatown. Maibelle's past is indeed a tangled mess, and the resolution of her troubles is confusing; there's simply too much going on. But this first novel is vividly told, and it offers an enticingly different slant on America's multicultural heritage. Most libraries should consider.-Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446671354
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/14/2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 372
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)