“Haunting and powerful. It is an unraveling of history, of identity, of the American Dream-like expectations foist upon people whether they want them or not.
Set against the backdrop of the Chinese Exclusion Act, this book braids several plot threads and true histories around its characters, namely a girl named Daiyu. Named after a tragic Chinese heroine, she’s spent much of her life trying to change the fate she believes is written into her name. Cast in lyrical writing, Daiyu’s story is as poetic as it is harrowing, as historically tragic as it is illuminating.”
A propulsive and dazzling debut novel, set against the backdrop of the Chinese Exclusion Act, about a Chinese girl fighting to claim her place in the 1880s American West
Daiyu never wanted to be like the tragic heroine for whom she was named, revered for her beauty and cursed with heartbreak. But when she is kidnapped and smuggled across an ocean from China to America, Daiyu must relinquish the home and future she imagined for herself. Over the years that follow, she is forced to keep reinventing herself to survive. From a calligraphy school to a San Francisco brothel to a shop tucked into the Idaho mountains, we follow Daiyu on a desperate quest to outrun the tragedy that chases her. As anti-Chinese sentiment sweeps across the country in a wave of unimaginable violence, Daiyu must draw on each of the selves she has been—including the ones she most wants to leave behind—in order to finally claim her own name and story.
At once a literary tour de force and a groundbreaking work of historical fiction, Four Treasures of the Sky announces Jenny Tinghui Zhang as an indelible new voice. Steeped in untold history and Chinese folklore, this novel is a spellbinding feat.