Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
for literature that confronts racism and examines diversity
Winner of the 2017 Chautauqua Prize
Finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize
A New York Times Notable Book
"Riveting and luminous...Like the best books, this one haunts the reader well after the end."—Jesmyn Ward
“[A] complex, beautiful novel . . . Stunning.”—NPR, Best Books of 2016
“Intense and dreamlike . . . filled with quiet resonances across time.”—The New Yorker
Sly, funny, intelligent, and artfully structured, The Fortunes recasts American history through the lives of Chinese Americans and reimagines the multigenerational novel through the fractures of immigrant family experience.
Inhabiting four lives—a railroad baron’s valet who unwittingly ignites an explosion in Chinese labor; Hollywood’s first Chinese movie star; a hate-crime victim whose death mobilizes the Asian American community; and a biracial writer visiting China for an adoption—this novel captures and capsizes over a century of our history, showing that even as family bonds are denied and broken, a community can survive—as much through love as blood.
“A prophetic work, with passages of surpassing beauty.”—Joyce Carol Oates, Anisfield-Wolf Book Award citation
“A poignant, cascading four-part novel . . . Outstanding.”—David Mitchell, Guardian
“The most honest, unflinching, cathartically biting novel I’ve read about the Chinese American experience.”—Celeste Ng
From the best-selling, acclaimed author of The Welsh Girl comes a groundbreaking, provocative new novel recasting American history through the lives of Chinese Americans.Baker & Taylor
Inhabiting four livesùa railroad baronÆs valet who unwittingly ignites an explosion in Chinese labor, Hollywood's first Chinese movie star, a hate-crime victim whose death mobilizes Asian Americans and a biracial writer visiting China for an adoptionùthe author of The Welsh Girl captures and capsizes over a century of U.S. history.Baker
"From the best-selling, acclaimed author of The Welsh Girl comes a groundbreaking, provocative new novel recasting American history through the lives of Chinese Americans. Sly, funny, intelligent, and artfully structured, Tell It Slant reimagines the traditional multigenerational novel through the lens of immigrant experience. The family institution is revered in Chinese culture, but the historical reality of Chinese Americans has seen family bonds denied, fragmented, or imperiled. Tell It Slant uses this history from the bachelor society of the gold rush era to laws against interracial marriage to the recent wave of adopted baby girls to create a portrait of a community whose line of descent is broken, yet which has tenaciously persisted, as much through love as by blood.Through four lives a railroad baron's valet who unwittingly ignites an explosion in Chinese labor, Hollywood's first Chinese movie star, a victim of a hate crime that mobilizes Asian Americans, and a biracial writer visiting China for an adoption--this novel captures and capsizes over a century of our history.Building fact into fiction, spinning fiction around fact, Davies answers Emily Dickinson's call to Tell It Slant, finding therein a greater truth. He uses each of these stories three inspired by real historical characters to examine the process of becoming not only Chinese American, but American"--