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Troublemaker & Other Saints

Chiu, Christina

Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, NY, U.S.A., 2001
ISBN 10: 0399147152 / ISBN 13: 9780399147159
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About the Book

Bibliographic Details

Title: Troublemaker & Other Saints

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition


1st Ed., 1st Printing, number row 10-1, HB/DJ, brand new, never read, 278 pp. SIGNED by Author. Author's debut book. Mylar cover on DJ. 11 stories of very contemporary concerns, family rivalries, anorexia, interracial relationships, and bisexuality, intersect with deeply traditional Chinese family ties and expectations. Bookseller Inventory # 5695

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Synopsis: Wild and eclectic members of three Chinese families clash and connect in a series of intertwined stories of family, sex, disillusionment, and love.

In Troublemaker and Other Saints, the life of one character weaves into that of another, and then another, as unlikely figures are brought face to face, strengthening and illuminating one another in surprising ways. But who are the troublemakers? Who are the saints?

In "Troublemaker," a young tough finds his humanity when he is forced to care for an old man he has assaulted with a beer can. In "Doctor," a family's golden child marries a black man and is shunned by everyone-except her schizophrenic uncle. In "Mama," traditional parents come to the rescue of their bisexual daughter, who has broken up with her lover. In "Gentleman," a wealthy alcoholic Hong Kong businessman facing financial ruin fails to connect with those around him, including a nymphomaniac niece and a mother who speaks to the dead. And in the closing story, a thief stumbles across his past while committing what he intends to be his final robbery.

East and West, old and young collide in a struggle to advance and to belong. Christina Chiu's stunning debut illustrates, with humor and pain, that just as there is a bit of troublemaker in each of us, there is something beautiful and, ultimately, redemptive.

From the Author: Interview with the Author

Q> Where do you get your ideas?

For me, writing is an expression of something I feel passionately about. Often, I see or hear something that will move me enough to write about it. One day, for example, while waiting for my appointment at a doctor's office, I came across the Personals section at the back of a magazine. I noticed that several ads, usually by white men, targeted Asian Women. This seemed a little strange to me, and it spurred all kinds of questions. I could understand saying that you're interested in someone who likes sports or dining out is one thing. But Asian? Why? Who would write a thing like that? And, more importantly, who would answer an ad like that? These questions lead me to explore the particular characters and situations in the story "Beauty."

Q> Is Troublemaker and Other Saints autobiographical? Are you Laurel in "Nobody" or Georgianna in "Doctor"?

The characters in Troublemaker are all fictional. I thought of this question ahead of time, and this was one of the reasons why I created such a diverse cast of characters-some are old, some young; some are female, others male. This doesn't mean that certain aspects can't be true to me. For one, Laurel and I both love to read Shakespeare, and so I relate to her passion for it, but really, when I was Laurel's age, I never read anything unless I had to for school.

Q> Which "Saint" do you relate to most?

It's the troublemaker that I relate to most. No, I didn't grow up in Chinatown, and I never assaulted anyone with a beer can. Yet, there's a lot about Eric that I can relate to, like being labeled a troublemaker. Also, I can relate to his frustration and rage at feeling all the invisible boundaries that determine what I can or cannot do because of my race.

Q> In Troublemaker and Other Saints, characters that appear in one story tend to reappear in later stories. Did you intend this when you started writing?

Initially, no. I had the idea to write about these different characters and they'd be tied together thematically. But as I continued writing, characters I wrote about in earlier stories started reappearing in later ones. Characters like Laurel and Seymour came from two separate worlds, and yet, there they were together in "Thief.'

Q>Where are you from? Were you born in China?

I was born in Manhattan and raised in Westchester, a suburb of New York. I've been to China, but only for short trips. My parents, however, were both born in Shanghai. They met in Hong Kong where they married and came to the United States before I was born.

Q> What are you working on now?

I'm writing a novel based on one of the stories from Troublemaker and Other Saints.

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