“Only a writer as gifted as Peter Ho Davies could capture the full weight of a century’s history with such an extraordinary lightness of touch. In his deft hands the dust falls away from a collection of hoary images—the building of the transcontinental railroad, the steaming laundry in Chinatown, the Dragon Lady flickering onscreen—revealing Chinese-American lives and desires in all their freshness, intensity, contradictoriness, and depth. Buoyant yet profound, unsentimental yet affecting, and above all beautifully written, The Fortunes reimagines in thrilling ways what the multi-generational immigrant novel can be.” – Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, author of Madeleine Is Sleeping and Ms. Hempel Chronicles
Inhabiting four lives three inspired by real historical characters, The Fortunes captures and capsizes more than a century of our history, recasting the story of America through the lives of Chinese Americans. It brilliantly reimagines the multigenerational novel, looking through the prismatic fractures of immigrant experience, and showing that even as family bonds are denied and broken, a community can survive as much through love as blood.
Building fact into fiction, spinning fiction around fact, The Fortunes is sly, funny, intelligent, and artfully structured. It proves, once again, that, in the words of Elizabeth McCracken: He can do anything, and he does. In this wonder of a novel, Peter Ho Davies offers not just marvelous storytelling, not just prose that sings and humor that bites, but also a rallying, hopeful vision of what it might mean to be American.