Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream: A Novel

Front Cover
St. Martin's Press, Jul 15, 1997 - Fiction - 288 pages
1 Review
This is a magical novel of a Chinese immigrant's coming to terms with himself, his marriage, and America--and the unlikely moral force that guides his life.

Chai is middle-aged, a disillusioned formed Red Guard who escaped China for Hong Kong and then America, where he works in New York as a banker. He and his wife, Ding, are the parents of an infant and enjoy a contented marriage; he develops a fond obsession with President Calvin Coolidge, the taciturn New Englander whose wry wit and wisdom delights Chai. One day, a chance discovery leads him astray: He learns that a lover from his youth is now in Boston, living with her husband and their son. The son is Chai's very image, and the staid banker is inflamed by the implications of the resemblance. Confused by his emotions, he becomes determined to revive the affair. How Ding schemes to win back her wayward husband--and teach him the necessary truths about love--forms the plot and beguiling conclusion to John Derbyshire's tale.

What people are saying - Write a review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A postmodern mess of a debut: earnest and ambitious, but disjointed and strained. Middle-aged T.C. Chai is a former Chinese Red Guard whose father died in the Korean War. Although Chai lived through ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - chilirlw - LibraryThing

I love this book so much that I own not one, but two first editions, on the off chance that one may be lost if I ever get around to sending it to the author with a request for his signature. Quirky ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (1997)

John Derbyshire was born in England, and educated at London University. He has traveled widely in East Asia, and has worked as a teacher, journalist, and computer programmer. He now lives in Huntington, New York.

Bibliographic information