A Thread of Sky: A Novel

A Thread of Sky: A Novel

3.6 5
by Deanna Fei
     
 

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Deanna Fei is the author of the highly anticipated memoir GIRL IN GLASS, coming to bookstores this summer.

"One of those rare novels that delivers on the promise of its opening pages. This summer, no smart woman should leave on vacation without it." -ChicagoTribune.com

When her husband of thirty years is killed, Irene Shen and her three daughters are

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Overview

Deanna Fei is the author of the highly anticipated memoir GIRL IN GLASS, coming to bookstores this summer.

"One of those rare novels that delivers on the promise of its opening pages. This summer, no smart woman should leave on vacation without it." -ChicagoTribune.com

When her husband of thirty years is killed, Irene Shen and her three daughters are set adrift. In a desperate attempt to heal her fractured family, Irene plans a tour of mainland China, reuniting three generations of women-her fiercely independent daughters, her distant poet sister, and her formidable eighty-year-old mother. But each woman bears secrets big and small, and just as they begin to reconnect, the most carefully guarded secret of all threatens to tear them apart forever. Depicting a China at once timeless and ever changing, A Thread of Sky is a beautifully written story of love and sacrifice, history and memory, sisterhood and motherhood, and the connections that endure.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A Thread of Sky] is one of those rare novels that delivers on the promise of its opening pages. This summer, no smart woman should leave on vacation without it."
-Conan Putnam, www.chicagotribune.com

"Timeless and of the moment... A fluent storyteller, Fei entwines this family narrative with harrowing passages about the Rape of Nanjing and the oppression of early Chinese immigrants to America".
-The New York Times Book Review

"A Thread of Sky is a lyrical journey through the heart of contemporary China, and the family of women who make the pilgrimage across these pages are as complicated, broad-ranging, and fascinating as the country itself. Deanna Fei is one to watch."
-Ann Patchett, author of Run and Bel Canto

"A Thread of Sky is a remarkable debut by a gifted young novelist. Deanna Fei is an accomplished writer with keen insight into cross-cultural Chinese- American rootlessness and the ties that bind women of several generations. A wonderful book!"
-Anita Shreve, author of A Change in Altitude

"A Thread of Sky is a dazzling, heart-pulling debut. With gorgeous lyricism and rare power, Deanna Fei maps an intricate constellation of loss and love that illuminates the lives of three generations of women. The novel is a startling achievement, braided with history and hope and deep empathy, and it introduces readers to one of the most gifted and captivating storytellers of her generation."
-Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Corpus Christi: Stories

"Deanna Fei writes gracefully and with powerful insight and feeling about love and loss, homelands and promised lands, and the various roles of women in family and society. The reader follows her passionately searching characters to China with a brimming heart, and with admiration for a first novelist so full of promise."
-Sigrid Nunez, author of The Last of Her Kind

"This had me at the first page. Fei's debut novel is both intensely enjoyable and, I think, important-this novel charts the cost of that famous Asian silence between generations, as a family takes in the price of it across several generations. But it is also an intimate portrait of that famous 'new China', as much of a surprise to Chinese-Americans as it is to the rest of us. Truly a book for our times."
-Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh

Amy Finnerty
A fluent storyteller, Fei entwines this family narrative with harrowing passages about the Rape of Nanjing and the oppression of early Chinese immigrants to America. Present day anti-Asian bias, to which the sisters are ever attuned, emerges as a persistent theme, often paired with sexism.
—The New York Times
Library Journal
In her first novel, Fei examines the lives of three generations of a Chinese family living in the United States. The six women go on a two-week tour of China, prompted by Irene Shen, whose husband died suddenly in an accident a few months earlier. Corralling her three unwilling daughters, her sister, and her mother, Irene books a tour that she hopes will bring the family closer. However, as the trip progresses, each woman broods on her own secrets—most of which have to do with betrayals by the men in their lives—and explodes at the others. Everywhere they go, they encounter bad weather and swarms of vendors trying to hawk souvenirs. Nonetheless, by the end—assisted by a bout of food poisoning—the women gain a better understanding of themselves and their family. VERDICT With its mother-daughter conflicts, a feminist message, and an exploration of Chinese roots, this novel will appeal to fans of Amy Tan as well as readers who generally enjoy the novels about immigrants like those by Julia Alvarez, Gish Jen, and Gus Lee.—Andrea Kempf, Johnson County Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, KS

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143118626
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/29/2011
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
615,548
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Anita Shreve
"A Thread of Sky is a remarkable debut by a gifted young novelist. Deanna Fei is an accomplished writer with keen insight into cross-cultural Chinese-American rootlessness and the ties that bind women of several generations. A wonderful book!"--(Anita Shreve, author of A Change in Altitude)
Ann Patchett
"A Thread of Sky is a lyrical journey through the heart of contemporary China, and the family of women who make the pilgrimage across these pages are as complicated, broad-ranging, and fascinating as the country itself. Deanna Fei is one to watch."--(Ann Patchett, author of Run and Bel Canto)

Meet the Author

Deanna Fei was born in Flushing, New York, and has lived in Beijing and Shanghai. A graduate of Amherst College and the Iowa Writers' workshop, she has received a Fulbright grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, and a Chinese cultural scholarship, among other awards. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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