For the August book club read, we chose a debut novel about the complicated lives and loves of people working at a beloved Chinese restaurant. Lillian Li is the author of the novel Number One Chinese Restaurant, which was longlisted for the Women’s Prize, the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and an NPR Best Book of 2018. Her work has been published in the New York Times, Granta, One Story, Bon Appetit, and Jezebel. Originally from the D.C. metro area, she lives in Ann Arbor. So what's it about?
The popular Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland has been serving devoted regulars for decades, but behind the staff's professional smiles simmer tensions, heartaches, and grudges from decades of bustling restaurant life.
Owner Jimmy Han has ambitions for a new high-end fusion place, hoping to eclipse his late father's homely establishment. Jimmy's older brother, Johnny, is more concerned with restoring the dignity of the family name than his faltering relationship with his own teenage daughter, Annie. Nan and Ah-Jack, longtime Duck House employees, yearn to turn their thirty-year friendship into something more, while Nan's son, Pat, struggles to stay out of trouble. When disaster strikes and Pat and Annie find themselves in a dangerous game that means tragedy for the Duck House, their families must finally confront the conflicts and loyalties simmering beneath the red and gold lanterns.
If this sounds like something you'd like to read, you can get your copy of the book from the store with a 15% discount until the end of August. You can also get the audiobook from our partner, Libro.fm! Click here to get yours!
Relevant Reviews & Interviews
"Number One Chinese Restaurant' by Lillian Li" -- Asian Review of Books
"Number One Chinese Restaurant" -- Kirkus Review
"Family Drama is on the Menu in 'Number One Chinese Restaurant'" -- USA Today
"An Interview with Lillian Li" -- Fiction Writers Review
"48: Lillian Li - writer" -- Mythos
We'll meet at Foggy Pine Books on August 31st at 7:30pm. We'll have free wine and snacks for book club members to share. Bring a friend and come discuss the book with us, even if you weren't able to completely finish it or if you didn't like it. You can see the Facebook event & RSVP here.
Foggy Pine Books
Literary Gifts & Events for Boone's Bibliophiles