Lan Samantha Chang is the daughter of Chinese immigrants who was born and brought up in America. Her stories represent her search for the truth of her identity, the struggle between two cultures. Here the Chinese principles of fate, the spirit world and the importance of family contrast with the logic of American thought, the possibility of success and achievement for oneself. In her novella, 'Hunger', Tian accepts he will never be a great violinist, but his acceptance of his fate eats away at his soul and his family's. In the story 'Water Names', a grandmother tells elliptical folk-tales set against the mighty torrent of the Changjiang and reminds her granddaughters of their river folk ancestors as they fidget away one dry summer in the Midwest. Lan Samantha Chang's gentle unpeeling of layers of identity and culture to reveal the true self is done with a rare and delicate beauty.
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