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PANGS OF LOVE : Stories

Louie, David Wong

51 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0394589572 / ISBN 13: 9780394589572
Published by Alfred a Knopf Inc, New York, 1991
Hardcover
From Rare Book Cellar (Pomona, NY, U.S.A.)

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Fine in a Fine dust jacket. First Edition stated. Bookseller Inventory # 28679

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Bibliographic Details

Title: PANGS OF LOVE : Stories

Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc, New York

Publication Date: 1991

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: First Edition; First Printing.

About this title

Synopsis:

This is a collection of stories exploring the themes of cultural inheritance and dispossession, entering the heart of the Asian-American dilemma. The book contains the title story, "Displacement" and "Disturbing the Universe".

From Kirkus Reviews:

A debut collection of 11 stories from Asian-American Louie chronicling the displaced lives of Asian immigrants and of first- generation American-born children: mainly taut and energetic pieces, a worthy (if more prosaic) companion to recent similar chronicles by Amy Tan, Maxine Hong Kingston, and others. ``Displacement'' (chosen for the Best American Short Stories 1989) concerns Mrs. Chow, 35, who immigrates to the US and goes to work (along with Mr. Chow) for a widow who, stroke-ridden, turns vile and spiteful. As in most stories here, Louie works by stringing together instances until he reaches a summarizing image: here, it's an image of Mrs. Chow descending from a roller coaster to stare at a glamorous American woman on a billboard. Beginning to accept her fate, she realizes, staring past the billboard to the ocean, that ``the land on the other side wouldn't come into view.'' Likewise, the title piece, about a son and his mother who has no English, takes the two in a rented car to another son's house, where the narrator and his mother watch wrestling on TV: ``The world she knows has been radically altered, a paradigm shift has taken place, she must relearn the earth is round, not flat.'' With such a formula, Louie moves as well to a female point of view in ``Inheritance,'' where the narrator comes of age after appearing on Dan Rather's show in support of a protest against a bombing of an abortion clinic; and the author spices the formula with fabulism in ``Disturbing the Universe,'' where peasants, criminals, and scholars at a labor camp near the Great Wall participate in the invention of baseball. These quirky Asian-Americans try to Americanize each other with names like Edsel and Bagel--and Louie trenchantly dramatizes their often surreal attempts to adapt to a new culture while not forgetting the old ways. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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