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Nights When Nothing Happened: A Novel
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Penguin Publishing Group 2020
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Named a Best Book of the Year by TIME, The Washington Post, and Harper's BazaarA tender, spiky family saga about love in all its mysterious incarnations. —Lorrie Moore, author of A Gate at the Stairs and Birds of America“Absolutely luminous… Weaves the transience of suburbia between the highs and lows of a family saga. . . Shocks, awes, and delights.” —Bryan Washington, author of Memorial From the outside, the Chengs seem like so-called model immigrants. Once Patty landed a tech job near Dallas, she and Liang grew secure enough to have a second child, and to send for their first from his grandparents back in China. Isn’t this what they sacrificed so much for? But then little Annabel begins to sleepwalk at night, putting into motion a string of misunderstandings that not only threaten to set their community against them but force to the surface the secrets that have made them fear one another. How can a man make peace with the terrors of his past? How can a child regain trust in unconditional love? How can a family stop burying its history and forge a way through it, to a more honest intimacy?  Nights When Nothing Happened is gripping storytelling immersed in the crosscurrents that have reshaped the American landscape, from a prodigious new literary talent.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
11/17/2020
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780593086070
ASIN:
B0852PC8H7
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Simon Han. (2020). Nights When Nothing Happened: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Simon Han. 2020. Nights When Nothing Happened: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Simon Han, Nights When Nothing Happened: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group, 2020.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Simon Han. Nights When Nothing Happened: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group, 2020. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Nov 13, 2020 15:47:06
Date Updated:
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Nights When Nothing Happened
fullDescription
Named a Best Book of the Year by TIME, The Washington Post, and Harper's Bazaar
A tender, spiky family saga about love in all its mysterious incarnations. —Lorrie Moore, author of A Gate at the Stairs and Birds of America
“Absolutely luminous… Weaves the transience of suburbia between the highs and lows of a family saga. . . Shocks, awes, and delights.” —Bryan Washington, author of Memorial

From the outside, the Chengs seem like so-called model immigrants. Once Patty landed a tech job near Dallas, she and Liang grew secure enough to have a second child, and to send for their first from his grandparents back in China. Isn’t this what they sacrificed so much for? But then little Annabel begins to sleepwalk at night, putting into motion a string of misunderstandings that not only threaten to set their community against them but force to the surface the secrets that have made them fear one another. How can a man make peace with the terrors of his past? How can a child regain trust in unconditional love? How can a family stop burying its history and forge a way through it, to a more honest intimacy? 
Nights When Nothing Happened is gripping storytelling immersed in the crosscurrents that have reshaped the American landscape, from a prodigious new literary talent.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 1, 2020

        In an anticipated debut from Chinese-born, Texas-raised Han--he's won numerous fellowships and been published in venues from Guernica to Electric Literature--the Dallas-based Chengs are finally established enough to send for their son, still in China with his grandparents. But then little daughter Annabel starts sleepwalking, and the habit escalates dangerously to reveal family secrets and raise the question of trust.

        Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        July 20, 2020
        Han’s ambitious if mixed debut follows the travails of a Chinese immigrant family living in the wealthy Dallas suburb of Plano. Patty Cheng is the breadwinner, whose long hours designing microchips pulls her away from her photographer husband, Liang, and their two children, Jack and Annabel, 11 and five. On Thanksgiving Day in 2003, a misunderstanding leads to an accusation by Annabel’s best friend of a “bad touch” by Liang, which snowballs into more trouble for Liang involving the police after Liang and Jack neglect to set the record straight. The family’s survival is dependent on a slippery sense of identity and difficulty in belonging in the Texas suburb, which permeate the narrative amid other unfortunately underdeveloped themes (duty vs. love, genteel racism). Most of the characterizations are convincing, though Annabel, even in close third-person narration, comes across as overly precocious (“If Annabel could understand what an overreaction was, she could understand what an overreaction wasn’t”). Still, as Liang struggles through the consequences of the accusation, Han succeeds in drawing the portrait of a new American family while demonstrating a talent for creating a sense of place through the eyes of immigrants. The premise is intriguing, but Han doesn’t quite stick the landing. Agent: Samantha Shea, Georges Borchardt.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 1, 2020
        In Han's remarkable debut, a misunderstanding gathers enough velocity to almost shatter the nucleus of a Chinese immigrant family in 2003 Texas. With its motion sensors and automatic sprinklers, the Dallas suburb of Plano seems like a high-resolution version of the all-American town. Scratch the veneer, though, and you'll see turmoil beneath the gloss. The newly arrived Chengs are a barely functional family unit. They're not just strangers in a new land--they're practically strangers to each other. Eleven-year-old Jack is just coming to know his family after having spent his formative years with his grandparents in Tianjin, China. Looking to pursue a doctorate in physics, Patty, Jack's mother, had emigrated first, and Liang, her photographer husband, followed shortly after. Patty's dreams of higher education were aborted when research funding ran out and she was forced to take up work for Texas Semiconductor. After a few years, the couple saved enough money to bring Jack over. In the meantime, Annabel was born. Jack's 6-year-old sister is a firecracker who exerts her will to ruinous effect at Plano Star Care. Lacking his wife's pluck, Liang too has challenges to overcome: his insecurities about hailing from peasant stock and an anemic photography business. Han expertly shifts the ground under the narrative, constantly shaking the snow globe to nudge the reader's perspective away from the familiar. The restrained prose is all the more effective as it releases a Molotov cocktail during a singular moment when Jack's desire to establish a place in his family clashes with his father's shaky societal standing. Han's characters are authentic, vulnerable, and utterly convincing, delivering one dynamite novel. An astutely realized portrait of the collateral damage wrought by the pursuit of the American dream.

        COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        October 1, 2020
        The Chengs live in Plano, Texas, where nothing much seems to happen. At 11, Jack sees himself as his sister Annabel's protector, and wakes up every time she sleepwalks to follow her and bring her back to bed without alerting his parents. Annabel, an affectionate five-year-old, doesn't seem disturbed by anything until she goes to sleep. Their mother, Patty, works long hours at her tech job near Dallas, while father Liang watches over the kids. From the outside, they seem like the model immigrant family. But when Child Protective Services shows up, all four of them are suddenly forced to unveil the secret fears they have of one another, and forge a new understanding of familial intimacy and trust. In this exemplary debut, Han explores childhood trauma and the impact words and silence can have on both building and harming relationships. He writes with sensitivity and tenderness, allowing his fully fleshed-out characters to take on lives of their own and tell their heartbreaking perspectives directly to readers. Readers will be gripped by this beautiful debut.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

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Named a Best Book of the Year by TIME, The Washington Post, and Harper's Bazaar
A tender, spiky family saga about love in all its mysterious incarnations. —Lorrie Moore, author of A Gate at the Stairs and Birds of America
“Absolutely luminous… Weaves the transience of suburbia between the highs and lows of a family saga. . . Shocks, awes, and delights.” —Bryan Washington, author of Memorial

From the outside, the Chengs seem like so-called model immigrants. Once Patty landed a tech job near Dallas, she and Liang grew secure enough to have a second child, and to send for their first from his grandparents back in China. Isn’t this what they sacrificed so much for? But then little Annabel begins to sleepwalk at night, putting into motion a string of misunderstandings that not only threaten to set their community against them but force to...
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A Novel
publisher
Penguin Publishing Group