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Homeseeking (Hardcover)

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An epic and intimate tale of one couple across sixty years as world events pull them together and apart, illuminating the Chinese diaspora and exploring what it means to find home far from your homeland.

"Weaves expertly between past and present.... A kaleidoscopic yet intimate view of the Chinese diaspora, Homeseeking explores how identities flex and transform during war—and which fundamental parts of us remain the same no matter where we find ourselves." —CELESTE NG

A single choice can define an entire life. Suchi first sees Haiwen in their Shanghai neighborhood when she is seven years old, drawn by the sound of his violin. Their childhood friendship blossoms into love, but when Haiwen secretly enlists in the Nationalist army in 1947 to save his brother from the draft, Suchi is left with just his violin and a note: Forgive Me.

Sixty years later, recently widowed Haiwen spots Suchi at a grocery store in Los Angeles. It feels to Haiwen like a second chance, but Suchi has only survived by refusing to look back. In the twilight of their lives, can they reclaim their past and the love they lost?

Homeseeking follows the separated lovers through six decades of tumultuous Chinese history, telling Haiwen’s story from the present to the past while tracing Suchi’s from her childhood to the present, meeting at the crucible of their lives. From Shanghai to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the United States, neither loses sight of the home they hold in their hearts.

About the Author

Karissa Chen is a Fulbright fellow, Kundiman Fiction fellow, and a VONA/Voices fellow whose fiction and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Eater, The Cut, NBC News Think!, Longreads, PEN America, Catapult, Gulf Coast, and Guernica, among others. She was awarded an artist fellowship from the NJ Council on the Arts as well as residences at Millay Colony where she was a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Creative Fellow, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, the Ragdale Foundation, and Willapa Bay AiR. She was formerly the Senior Fiction Editor at The Rumpus and currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief at Hyphen magazine. She received an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and splits her time between New Jersey and Taipei, Taiwan.

Praise For…

"Karissa Chen's debut novel weaves expertly between present and past, telling the story of childhood sweethearts who meet again late in life and are torn between looking back and moving on. A kaleidoscopic yet intimate view of the Chinese diaspora, Homeseeking explores how identities flex and transform during war--and which fundamental parts of us remain the same no matter where we find ourselves." – Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere

"An absolute stunner of a debut. Chen nimbly tackles too often overlooked history in an exploration of surviving the trauma of war and loss of home. Homeseeking is a novel that asks if those who survive by moving forward and those who sustain by looking back can ever truly meet. At its heart, this is an impressive work of language, place, history, and all the tenuous ties that define who we are. Karissa Chen has created an elegant saga of soul and history, and proven herself a writer to watch." — Erika Swyler, author of The Book of Speculation

"Sweeping, epic, yet deeply intimate, Homeseeking traces a pair of first loves and the gossamer thread that binds them across six decades and four nations as the world splits them apart, again and again. A spellbinding meditation on family, immigration, and the many faces of courage in times of hardship, this is a dazzling debut."  — Kirstin Chen, New York Times bestselling author of Counterfeit

"Through its glittering and heartrending depictions of war, forced movement, broken love stories, and the tumultuous Chinese-Taiwanese 20th century, this spellbinding debut ingeniously captures the paradox of the immigrant experience: doggedly looking forward while uncontrollably looking back." — Juliet Grames, author of The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna

Homeseeking is a perfect love song, beautiful and poignant and tender and sad. A tour de force of storytelling and a book with real faith in the human heart, with all its immense capacity for both love and hatred. Read it. It will make time stand still. Karissa Chen is the writer we’ve been waiting for, and Homeseeking is a must read.” —Matthew Salesses, author of The Sense of Wonder

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593712993
ISBN-10: 0593712994
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: January 7th, 2025
Pages: 512
Language: English