The Celestials

The Celestials

by Karen Shepard


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The Celestials by Karen Shepard

The Celestials is a historical novel of immigration, multiculturalism, labor, community and exclusion, alienation and reinvention, and our country's peculiar history and relationship with all those things. It's about our shared sense that we're all aliens of some kind—at home in no place.
In June of 1870, seventy-five Chinese laborers arrived in North Adams, Massachusetts, to work for Calvin Sampson, one of the biggest industrialists in that busy factory town. Except for the foreman, the Chinese didn’t speak English. They didn’t know they were strikebreakers. The eldest of them was twenty-two. Combining historical and fictional elements, The Celestials beautifully reimagines the story of Sampson’s “Chinese experiment” and the effect of the newcomers’ threatening and exotic presence on the New England locals. When Sampson’s wife, Julia, gives birth to a mixed-race baby, the infant becomes a lightning rod for the novel’s conflicts concerning identity, alienation, and exile.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935639558
Publisher: Tin House Books
Publication date: 06/11/2013
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Karen Shepard is a Chinese-American born and raised in New York City. She is the author of three novels, An Empire of Women, The Bad Boy’s Wife, and Don’t I Know You? Her short fiction has been published in the Atlantic Monthly, Tin House, and Ploughshares, and her nonfiction has appeared in More, Self, USA Today, and the Boston Globe. She teaches writing and literature at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where she lives.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

What a riveting, wonderfully intelligent novel! Karen Shepard’s characters vibrate with desire and disappointment, so obdurately individual that a whole world springs to life around them and the past becomes completely present.”
—Andrea Barrett, author of Ship Fever and The Air We Breathe

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The Celestials 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ooh! If ya could, could ya add Fierymoon? He's a bright silver &male with fiery orange eyes and iridescent black crane-like wings. Family and history. . . Only family he had was Vacantsky, and she is dead now. Fierymoon has a quiet, depressed personality and he cannot move his left wing. <p> Oh, and I understand your comment frustration. I am the author of Windstreak's Flight, and now I only have three readers. :/
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He glares in the bright light and quickly moves to Lucy taking her to another result.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Hey, Happy. What's up?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gtg bbt
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*he sighs and says* anyway i have to get back to watching a.o.t irl ill talk to you later bye!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh s**t things about to die totally sorr
Anonymous More than 1 year ago