The Foreigner

A Novel

Francie Lin

Picador

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Winner of the Edgar® 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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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One

It was my birthday, my fortieth year. I am not a sentimental man, and my birthdays have always passed quietly, with a minimum of anguish and fuss, but for some reason, this year, a sense of dejection hung in my chest like a fog as I drove eastbound across the Bay Bridge to meet my mother for dinner. Rain lashed the windshield. A truck had overturned just past the 880 exit, encircled by flares. Farther on, a dog had been run over, the mangled carcass pulled off to the side and left with its golden fur matted and damp. All these things—melancholy, rain, a little accident,

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Reviews

Praise for The Foreigner

"Genre-wise, The Foreigner is best described as a thriller, rife with murders, drugs, secrets and betrayals. But you won't find any of the cardboard characters, clunky writing, or clichéd conventions that too often mar suspense fiction. Lin is equally attentive to description and plot. . . . Lovely, detailed writing makes you care about what happens to these characters. . . . A sequel would prove most welcome."---Los Angeles Times

"Lin demonstrates admirable range and skill in The Foreigner. She's capable of writing both marvelous humor and scenes of utter darkness in her tale of a naive man at a complete loss for dealing with the world."---San Francisco Chronicle

"Lin has much to say about the clast of East and West and the sometimes shaky bonds of family, wrapping her sly observations in an entertaining coating of ever-propulsive narrative that turns Emerson from a rich boy into a warier, sleeker, wiser man."---The Baltimore Sun

"[A] darkly funny debut."---Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Francie Lin

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

Francie Lin

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Foreigner
A Novel
Francie Lin

Award

Edgar Allen Poe Award Winner

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
May 2008
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312364045
ISBN10: 0312364040
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 320 pages
$14.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Picador
May 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429938631
ISBN10: 1429938633
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 320 pages
$9.99
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Picador

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