The Family Chao: A Novel

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Dagou, Ming, and James Chao grew up in their family’s restaurant, searching for a foothold as minorities in the town of Haven, Wisconsin. As adults, the brothers have taken different paths: Dagou, after floundering as a musician, is back in Haven, working at the restaurant; Ming is a wealthy and successful New Yorker who does his best to avoid Haven; and James is a pre-med student unsure of where he fits. When Winnie and Big Leo, their parents, ask all the brothers to gather at Christmastime, Ming and James make their way back home. En route, James witnesses the death of an elderly Chinese man at a train station, setting the stage for a visit that upends the precarious house of cards the Chao family has spent years maintaining. Family secrets, filial resentments, longing, and rage bring the Chao family–very publicly–to a breaking point.

Crafted with humor and clear-eyed empathy, The Family Chao examines the triumphs, struggles, and consequences of one family’s pursuit of the American Dream. Three brothers, three different fates, and any number of questions and regrets–it’s a story both specific and universal, and Lan Samantha Chang offers readers a novel that is at once a courtroom drama, a family tragedy, and a multifaceted love story.


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Author Lan Samantha Chang
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 346 pages
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date 01-Feb-2022
ISBN 9780393868074
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue May 2022
Category Popular Fiction
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