The Bindery is thrilled to host Kirstin Chen as she launches her new novel Bury What We Cannot Take. With her in conversation will be Nayomi Munaweera. Join us!
One summer day in 1957, nine-year-old San San and her twelve-year-old brother, Ah Liam, discover their grandmother taking a hammer to a framed portrait of Chairman Mao. To prove his loyalty to the Party, Ah Liam reports his grandmother to the authorities. But his belief in doing the right thing sets in motion a terrible chain of events. Now the family must flee their home on Drum Wave Islet, which sits just a few hundred meters across the channel from mainland China. But when their mother goes to procure visas for safe passage to Hong Kong, the government will only issue them on the condition that she leave behind one of her children as proof of the family’s intention to return. San San’s family must grapple with their agonizing decision, its far-reaching consequences, and their hope for redemption.
— “This beautifully plotted, suspenseful, and deeply compassionate novel shows Kirstin Chen, whose work I’ve long admired, at her absolute finest. Bury What We Cannot Take is a vital book.” — Laura van den Berg, author of Find Me
“San San’s family flee Drum Wave Islet, leaving her behind. An epic story follows that explores gender roles, oppressive ideologies, sacrifice, and what it means to be free, all through the microcosm of one family. This is a book set in the past, on the other side of the world, that is more than relevant in today’s America. Chen delivers a page turner that holds a historical mirror up to our fuzzy, complicit world.” — Matthew Salessas, author of The Hundred Year Flood
— Kirstin Chen is the author of the novels Bury What We Cannot Take, forthcoming from Little A in 2018, and Soy Sauce for Beginners, a Kindle First selection, an O, The Oprah Magazine “book to pick up now,” and a Glamour book club pick. She has received awards from the Steinbeck Fellows Program, Sewanee, Hedgebrook, and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. She is the fall 2017 NTU-NAC National Writer in Residence in Singapore.
Visit her at kirstinchen.com
Nayomi Munaweera was born in Sri Lanka and grew up in Nigeria. She emigrated to the United States in her early teens, and now lives in Oakland, CA. Her first novel, Island of a Thousand Mirrors, won the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize for the Asian Region and was longlisted for the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize. Her second novel, What Lies Between Us, won the Sri Lankan National Book Award for best English novel and the Godage Award for Best English Novel by the esteemed Godage Publishing House.
Bar opens at 7, event begins at 7:30pm.
If you cannot attend this event but would like to order a signed copy of Bury What We Cannot Take, order with one of the following links and include your request in the special fields: booksmith.com/book/9781542049702
(hardcover) | booksmith.com/book/9781542049719