The Foreigner: A Novel

Front Cover
Picador, May 27, 2008 - Fiction - 320 pages
9 Reviews


Winner of the EdgarŽ Award for Best First Novel by an American Author

Set against the Taiwanese criminal underworld, The Foreigner is Francie Lin's audacious debut novel. A noirish tale about family, fraternity, conscience, and the curious gulf between a man's culture and his deepest self

Emerson Chang is a mild mannered bachelor on the cusp of forty, a financial analyst in a neatly pressed suit, a child of Taiwanese immigrants who doesn't speak a word of Chinese, and, well, a virgin. His only real family is his mother, whose subtle manipulations have kept him close--all in the name of preserving an obscure idea of family and culture.

But when his mother suddenly dies, Emerson sets out for Taipei to scatter her ashes, and to convey a surprising inheritance to his younger brother, Little P. Now enmeshed in the Taiwanese criminal underworld, Little P seems to be running some very shady business out of his uncle's karaoke bar, and he conceals a secret--a crime that has not only severed him from his family, but may have annihilated his conscience. Hoping to appease both the living and the dead, Emerson isn't about to give up the inheritance until he uncovers Little P's past, and saves what is left of his family.
The Foreigner is a darkly comic tale of crime and contrition, and a riveting story about what it means to be a foreigner--even in one's own family.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dbsovereign - LibraryThing

I liked this book for its interesting blend of humor and thought-provoking story elements introduced by the unique narrator. Takes place in San Francisco and in Taipei and features a loveable ogre of a mom who reigns long after her death... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wandering_star - LibraryThing

Emerson Chang is a buttoned-up, forty-year-old Taiwanese-American. He's always known that his mother preferred his younger brother, Little P, even though Little P lost touch with the family ten years ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

PART 2
69
PART 3
237

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About the author (2008)

FRANCIE LIN, a former editor at The Threepenny Review, received a Fulbright Fellowship to Taiwan in 2001-2002. She lives in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

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