VANESSA HUA reads from her debut collection of short stories DECEIT AND OTHER POSSIBILITIES, with NAOMI HIRAHARA

Deceit and Other Possibilities (Willow Books)

In this powerful debut collection, Vanessa Hua gives voice to immigrant families navigating a new America. Tied to their ancestral and adopted homelands in ways unimaginable in generations past, these memorable characters straddle both worlds but belong to none.

From a Hong Kong movie idol fleeing a sex scandal, to an obedient daughter turned Stanford imposter, to a Chinatown elder summoned to his village, to a Korean-American pastor with a secret agenda, the characters in these ten stories vividly illustrate the conflict between self and society, tradition and change. In “What We Have is What We Need,” winner of The Atlantic student fiction prize, a boy from Mexico reunites with his parents in San Francisco. When he suspects his mother has found love elsewhere, he fights to keep his family together.

With insight and wit, she writes about what wounds us and what we must survive. Her searing stories explore the clash of cultures and the complex, always shifting allegiances that we carry in ourselves, our family, and our community. Deceit and Other Possibilities marks the emergence of a remarkable new writer.

Praise for Deceit and Other Possibilities

"Vanessa Hua inhabits in graceful and heartbreaking detail the people of her stories: strivers and betrayers, lovers and the landless, all of them on their way to transcendence in her hands. – Susan Straight, author of Between Heaven and Here and Highwire Moon   

"Fast-paced, dazzling, smart, and fun, Vanessa Hua's debut collection illustrates the insanities and heartbreaks on both sides of the Pacific." – Gary Shteyngart, author of  Little Failure and  Super Sad True Love Story

"Deceit and Other Possibilities gives us characters whose lives are constrained and yet also enriched by different borders, cultures, and traditions. A bracing and beautiful debut, full of fire and light."–Laila Lalami, author of The Moor's Account

"Complicated, cosmopolitan and utterly contemporary, Deceit and Other Possibilities is a richly enjoyable collection.  Hua is expert at creating both empathy and suspense whether it's in the emptiness of a national park or the crowded space of an international flight.  These stories will jump right off the page into the reader's imagination."–Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

For nearly two decades, Vanessa Hua has covered Asia and the diaspora in journalism and in fiction, writing about the ways immigrants bring their traditions, their histories, and their ambitions to America. She received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award for Fiction, and is a past Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing at San Jose State University. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, FRONTLINE/World, Washington Post, Guernica, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere. A former staff writer at the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times, she has filed stories from China, South Korea, Panama, Burma and Ecuador. She is a graduate of Stanford University and UC Riverside's MFA program. She lives in the Bay Area with her family.

Naomi Hirahara is an award-winning novelist and nonfiction writer. Her Mas Arai mystery series, which features a Southern California-based gardener and Hiroshima survivor, has been published in Japanese, Korean and French. The sixth in the series, Sayonara Slam, was released in May of this year. Her short stories have been included in Los Angeles Noir, Asian Pulp and Hanzai Japan. A former editor of The Rafu Shimpo, she also is involved in the preservation of Japanese American and regional history in the form of books and exhibitions.

Event date: 
Sunday, October 16, 2016 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
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