The End of East

A Novel

Jen Sookfong Lee

Thomas Dunne Books

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In the tradition of Amy Tan and Jhumpa Lahiri, a moving portrait of three generations of family living in Vancouver's Chinatown
From Knopf Canada's New Face of Fiction program--launching grounds for Yann Martel's Life of Pi and Ann-Marie MacDonald's Fall on Your Knees--comes this powerfully evocative novel.
At age eighteen, Seid Quan is the first in the Chan family to emigrate from China to Vancover in 1913. Paving the way for a wife and son, he is profoundly lonely, even as he joins the Chinatown community.
Weaving in and out of the past and the present, The End of East pieces together the spellbinding tale of Seid Quan's family: his wife Shew Lin, whose hope for her family are threatened by her own misguided actions; his son Pon Man, who struggles with obligation and desire; his daughter-in-law Siu Sang, who tries to be the caregiver everyone expects, even as she feels herself unraveling; and his granddaughter Sammy, who finds herself embroiled in a volatile mixture of seduction, grief, and duty.
An exquisite debut of isolation, immigration, romance, and insanity, The End of East sets family conflicts against the backdrop of Vancouver's Chinatown--a city within a city where dreams are shattered as quickly as they're built, and where history repeats itself through the generations. It is a bold and accomplished debut from one of Canada's brightest new literary stars.

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Book Excerpts

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onestanley park“It is time,” my mother says as she pulls me from the cab, “to run that old-man smell out of my house.”As I haul my luggage out of the trunk, the smell of smouldering dust and gas fills the air, burning my nose and mouth. I follow my mother’s rapidly retreating body around the side of the house to the backyard, wondering if she has finally snapped and set one my sisters ablaze.In the driveway off the lane, she pokes angrily at a crackling fire with a metal garden rake; I catch my breath, holding my suitcase in front of me like a shield.

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Praise for The End of East

"The truth that imbues every line of Jen Sookfong Lee's The End of East is so coruscating that we must look away. And yet she will not let us, and so we cannot."
- Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean

"An emotional powerhouse of a novel...calls to mind Ishiguro's Booker Prize winner The Remains of the Day. This is a book that can sit on a shelf of novels by Ondaatje, Atwood, and Laurence."
- Halifax Chronicle Herald
"An impressive debut novel...delivered in lyrical language radiating with apt metaphors. enrapturing exploration of identity that proves that family is unshakeable."
- Kirkus Reviews
"Beautifully homage to Amy Tan's generational tales. Provocative and deeply moving."
- The Baltimore Sun

"Beautifully guides us through the heart of the Chan family and the Chinese immigrant experience--charting dreams, regrets, hopes, and triumphs along the way. Jen Sookfong Lee's storytelling instincts are honest, unflinching, and fearless."
- Amy McKay, author of The Birth House
"A wise, challenging, and heartbreaking novel...Jen Sookfong Lee is a novelist with the eye and ear and soul of a poet."
- Gail Anderson-Dargatz, author of A Recipe for Bees
"Compelling and complex...richly layered...The End of East is fine prose."
- The Globe and Mail

" enlightening look at Vancouver's slice of the Chinese diaspora."
- Publishers Weekly
"Impressive in its accomplished prose and its ambitious three-generational scope. Lee's talent is undeniable."
- National Post

"Strong, evocative...a wonderful novel."
- Booklist

" accomplished debut."
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Reviews from Goodreads


About the Author

Jen Sookfong Lee

Jen Sookfong Lee was born and raised in Vancouver's East Side, where she now lives with her husband. Her poetry, fiction, and articles have appeared in a variety of magazines, including The Antigonish Review, The Claremont Review, Horsefly, and Jasmine. A finalist for the Stephen Leacock Poetry Contest, she is a Knopf Canada New Face of Fiction for The End of East.

Jen Sookfong Lee

Photo: Sherri Koop Photography
Jen Sookfong Lee

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Available Formats and Book Details

The End of East
A Novel
Jen Sookfong Lee

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
April 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429989503
ISBN10: 1429989505
256 pages

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Thomas Dunne Books

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