- Paperback: 220 pages
- Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY (April 10, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1936932164
- ISBN-13: 978-1936932160
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #513,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Though I Get Home Paperback – April 10, 2018
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“Fascinating and immersive.” —BuzzFeed
"A haunting, surprising, and rebellious collection that contains multitudes." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“You'll love how deeply developed, relatable, and approachable Chin's characters are. . . readers are left similarly changed by the experience.” —BUSTMagazine
“Angular yet impressionistic, unsentimental yet uncannily moving, and a subversive take on the immigrant stories we’ve come to expect from ‘immigrant writers.’” —The Margins
“Sensitive to both the brutality of oppression and the lyricism of art that seeks to transcend social conditions, these stories offer an uncanny perspective into the faultlines of Malaysian society while escaping the labels of realism and allegory.” —Singapore Unbound
“YZ Chin’s tender and furious debut is a long gaze into a black sky; her characters are defiant enough to find light.” —Catherine Lacey, author of The Answers
“Sharp as an old wound that never heals, these linked stories remind us afresh of what it takes to survive in a brutal, racially fraught society.” —Shirley Geok-lin Lim, author of Among the White Moon Faces
“Read YZ Chin’s book to expand your understanding of the world, but don’t be surprised when along the way you discover more about yourself than you bargained for.” —Karen Shepard, author of Kiss Me Someone
“Poignant, like an arrow piercing one’s heart.” —Louise Meriwether, author of Daddy Was a Number Runner
“Though I Get Home is a welcome read in American contemporary literature—an intimate and complex look into Malaysian culture and politics, and a reminder of the importance of art for social justice.” —Ana Castillo, author of Black Dove
“Though I Get Home offers passage into the lives of those struggling for their freedom in a country many Americans know little about. Poignant and striking, each story in YZ Chin’s elegant debut will change you in some small way.” —Jennifer Baumgardner, author of Look Both Ways
“YZ’s skilled weavings of poetic language and unwavering tenderness render a moving portrait of characters caught up in changing, challenging circumstances, and their cemented wills and steadfast grit become hallmarks in the power of storytelling, and the power of movement.” —Melissa R. Sipin, editor in chief, TAYO Literary Magazine
About the Author
YZ Chin was born and raised in Taiping, Malaysia. She now lives in New York, working as a software engineer by day and a writer by night.
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While music pulsates through Goon Squad, silence—rather the threat of being silenced—percolates through Though I Get Home and provides the warp of Chin’s tapestry. The weft is formed by diverse characters as they navigate their muddled lives against the panorama of political and social turmoil that forms modern Malaysia. A butler from the days when Malaysia was a British colony, a grandfather who eats at KFC and gambles on time the monsoon rain will begin, a girl chosen by the Divine Leader to be his pleasure girl, a young man who’s working—like Chin herself—in America, and a man who works for the Religious Department, patrolling the city looking for fornicators all populate this book. Isa Sin, a frustrated writer, provides the fixed point around which these other characters rotate. She is held prisoner in Malaysia’s infamous Kamunting Detention Center. Like Penelope, Chin’s weaves these shifting points of view into a tapestry that gives the reader tantalizing glimpses of clarity before eventually revealing the events on which she actually focused.
A side-note here is cultural appropriation with disastrous results. An American woman becomes the lover of Howie Ho, the Malaysian man working in the States, simply to pick his brain about his homeland. She uses what he tells her to write poems about the Malaysian government—poems that it finds obscene—and attributes them to Isa Sin.
Chin’s prose is deft, subtle, and evocative of the times and landscapes of Malaysia. The reader indirectly learns of Malaysia’s colonial past as well as its current authoritarian regime. The stories are intelligent and probe existential and political anguish in compelling ways that make her subjects accessible to her readers.