Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Undertaking of Lily Chen

The Undertaking of Lily Chen

Danica Novgorodoff

First Second


Trade Paperback

In The Undertaking of Lily Chen, Deshi, a hapless young man living in northern China, is suddenly expelled from ordinary life when his brother dies in an accident. Holding Deshi responsible for his brother's death, his parents send him on a mission to acquire a corpse bride to accompany his brother into the afterlife, in accordance with an ancient Chinese tradition that has many modern adherents. Eligible dead girls are in short supply, however. When Deshi falls into company with a young--and single--woman named Lily, he sees a solution to his problems. The only hitch is that willful, tart-tongued Lily is still very much alive. As Deshi and Lily adventure through a breathtaking mountain landscape, meeting a host of eccentric characters and dangerous adversaries along the way, Deshi just can't decide whether to kiss the girl or to kill her.

Danica Novgorodoff, author of Slow Storm and Refresh, Refresh, brings her distinctive voice and gorgeous, moody watercolors to this wry, beautiful, and surprising literary graphic novel.

YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens, Booklist Editors' Choice, YALSA Great Graphic Novel for Teens, YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year


Praise for The Undertaking of Lily Chen

“This stunning and intriguing graphic novel takes the reader on a brother's journey to find a bride for his deceased sibling . . . Everything about this graphic novel is striking. It is not easily forgotten.” —VOYA

“If you haven't read any of Danica Novgorodoff's books, you're missing out.” —USA Today

“Beautiful, haunting, and utterly human.” —Gene Luen Yang, author of American Born Chinese

“A vast, dangerous tale… Novgorodoff has created a world filled with ghosts, regrets, dreams, and love.” —Brian Selznick, author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret

In the Press

When his brother dies in an accident at the airbase where Deshi Li works, his enraged mother sends him on a quest. His brother needs a companion for the afterlife. Deshi must find a woman—the deader the better, though she doesn’t necessarily have to start out that way. Out in... - Slate

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Danica Novgorodoff

Danica Novgorodoff is a painter, writer, graphic designer and horse wrangler from Kentucky. Her graphic novels Slow Storm (2008) and Refresh, Refresh (included in Best American Comics 2011), were published by First Second. Her most recent graphic novel is The Undertaking of Lily Chen, also published by First Second. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Danica Novgorodoff

From the Publisher

First Second

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