Number One Chinese Restaurant: A Novel

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Lillian Li’s phenomenal debut follows the quotidian lives of a unique crew of Chinese Americans involved in the operation of a treasured family-run restaurant. Jimmy, co-owner of the Beijing Duck House, is seeking a way to leave the restaurant his immigrant father founded to open up his own chic Asian-fusion restaurant. His obstinate mother, distant brother, and his realtor with whom he is romantically involved certainly complicate matters. But nothing shakes Jimmy’s future more than scheming Uncle Pang, who bribes a troubled teenager, the son of Duck House manager Nan, to carry out his destructive plan. While unaware of the serious trouble her son has caused, Nan struggles to understand her changing relationship with her longtime friend and co-worker Ah-Jack, whose terminally ill wife has left him for another man. As major changes face the Duck House staff, all struggle to find their way in the demanding food industry.

With balanced humor and heart, Li captures the essence of what it means to be human, particularly yearning for something just out of reach, regretting the past, and working through complicated relationships. Li is especially adept at dialogue, which is so natural it flows from the page with ease. This twisty drama is completely engrossing; Li is unquestionably a writer to watch.

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Author Lillian Li
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 304 pages
Publisher Henry Holt and Co.
Publish Date 2018-Jun-19
ISBN 9781250141293
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue November 2018
Category Modern Literature
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