Take Me Home: A Novel

( 1 )

Overview

Adele "Addie" Maine is returning to Dire, Wyoming, forty years after the deadly events that drove her away from her husband without a word.

Years earlier, when Addie first heads West to stay with her brother Tommy, she is wary of the Chinese working alongside the white men in the local coal mines. But when Tommy falters at homesteading and the mine becomes their only path, Addie's eyes are opened through her association with one Chinese man in particular, Wing Lee—and a bond ...

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Take Me Home

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Overview

Adele "Addie" Maine is returning to Dire, Wyoming, forty years after the deadly events that drove her away from her husband without a word.

Years earlier, when Addie first heads West to stay with her brother Tommy, she is wary of the Chinese working alongside the white men in the local coal mines. But when Tommy falters at homesteading and the mine becomes their only path, Addie's eyes are opened through her association with one Chinese man in particular, Wing Lee—and a bond forms between them that is impossible and forbidden, even in a territory where nearly everyone is an immigrant. Together, Addie and Wing harbor a secret, and when racial tensions escalate to a combustion point, Addie will face a devastating choice between fighting for what is right . . . and survival.

Take Me Home is a searing, redemptive novel that explores justice in a time of violence, and the sweeping landscape between friendship and love.

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Editorial Reviews

Denver Post
“Leung uses the discord between whites and Asians in the West of the 1880s to give his novel both depth and a compelling twist.”
Shelf Awareness
“The story is set in 1880s Wyoming, and Leung has re-created the warp and woof of the territory with faithful clarity. . . . An indelible picture of the Wyoming Territory and two unlikely lovers.”
Historical Novels Review
“Brian Leung captures the haunting landscape, harsh conditions, and abundant racism of late 19th century Wyoming, and he also leaves the reader with the hope that, while amends can never be made for past cruelties, the future may be somewhat brighter.”
The Tucson Citizen
“A powerful story about friendship, love, and eventual triumph, set against the dramatic backdrop of 1880s Wyoming. It is thought-provoking, crisply written, and compulsively readable.”
The Advocate
“[Leung] spins a fascinating tale of tough women confronting loneliness, prejudice, and forbidden love.”
Louisville Courier Journal
“A sweeping, action-packed novel.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Every now and then, a small, quiet, well-crafted novel is just what the doctor ordered. . . . Take Me Home by Brian Leung fits the bill.”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“This beautiful novel is about forbidden friendships, secrets kept, and one woman’s quest to stay alive.”
Kentucky Monthly
“Leung wisely narrows his plot into a tightly woven and unusual love story. . . . [His] writing, in fact, has a train-like rhythm that will keep any reader turning the page to see what the journey home looks like.”
Louisville Magazine
“Brian Leung’s exquisitely crafted novel Take Me Home is a story of the Old West for investigative readers, a necessary and cautionary tale spun from the lessons of real history. . . . [His] lyric gifts as a novelist bring the deftly plotted story alive.”
Dallas Morning News
“Heartfelt. . . . Leung’s writing is so clear and lovely and his characters are so well-realized . . . The character of Wing speaks eloquently for thousands of Chinese miners whose voices are lost to history.”
Lambda Literary
“The coal mine culture of Wyoming comes alive in this story of forbidden friendship.”
Ron Rash
Take Me Home is a riveting novel of two heroic people attempting to transcend the prejudices of their time and place. Through Leung’s skillful artistry and empathy, we see the worst aspects of humanity, but we also see the best.”
Percival Everett
Take Me Home is beautiful. The language of Brian Leung’s novel is poetic and surprising and yet still manages to capture the coarseness, the beardedness of Rock Springs, Wyoming. It’s a smart book that offers an important window into the West and therefore the American story.”
Nami Mun
Take Me Home is very much about humanity--very much about our need to love, no matter how forbidden. Lovers of history and heroines will want to devour this book.”
Helena Maria Viramontes
"Brian Leung’s Take Me Home is powerfully imagined. . . . [His] pristine prose recounts a time of tough women dealing with the loneliness of the Wyoming plains and the unforgiving landscape of an 1880s coal-mining town, a time when we were all immigrants in search of a place we could call home."
Helena María Viramontes
“Brian Leung’s Take Me Home is powerfully imagined. . . . [His] pristine prose recounts a time of tough women dealing with the loneliness of the Wyoming plains and the unforgiving landscape of an 1880s coal-mining town, a time when we were all immigrants in search of a place we could call home.”
Publishers Weekly
Leung's (Lost Men) lyrical sophomore novel follows Addie Maine, a white woman who, 40 years earlier, fled her marriage in 1880s Wyoming after a risky act of compassion saves Chinese immigrant miners. In 1927, she returns to the violently xenophobic town of Dire to be celebrated by a Chinese dignitary for her past effort. Leung's evocative tale backtracks in time as he recounts Addie's teenage trip by train to live with her farmer brother, during which she was unceremoniously schooled about the "coolies," the derogatory term for the Chinese who had been brought from California to work in the Wyoming mines. Addie's brother's eventual failure to produce a lucrative crop forces the siblings to seek jobs in the mines, where Addie meets Wing Lee. Their association incites the ire of the townsfolk and sets violent events in motion. Leung's subtle, perceptive saga closes on notes both touching and patriotic. (Oct.)
Library Journal
An award-winning short story writer (World Famous Love Acts) and novelist (Lost Men), Leung here gives us a fascinating depiction of life, love, and racial strife in the mining camps of the 19th-century American West. The novel opens with central character Adele (Addie) Maine traveling back to the Wyoming mining town from which she escaped 40 years ago when things went terribly wrong. She had moved there originally to join her older brother, Tommy, as he attempted to homestead but instead had to work in the nearby coal mine. To Addie's surprise, the miners were Chinese and Americans, and the animosity between the groups permeated working and living conditions. Resourceful and independent Addie was fiercely loyal to her brother; however, when she befriended a Chinese male cook to help her sell meat to the miners, she began a tenuous reach across the threshold of racial propriety. And then her life took an even stranger turn as she deferred to her brother's wishes. VERDICT In this work of insight and sensitivity, Leung succinctly portrays how Chinese miners of the era were resented and what happened to people who crossed the racial barrier. All fiction readers should consider.—Maureen Neville, Trenton P.L., NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061769092
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/15/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,044,639
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Leung is the author of the novel Lost Men. His short-story collection, World Famous Love Acts, won the Asian American Literary Award and the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. Born and raised in San Diego County, he currently lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where he is the Director of Creative Writing at the University of Louisville.

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