Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

With its deliciously depicted restaurant setting and knowing perspective on Chinese-American culture, this novel is two-thirds cultural comedy. The other third is something deeper and sadder. A writer to watch.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Named a Summer Must-Read by TIME, Buzzfeed, Star Tribune, Fast Company, The Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal, Toronto Star, InStyle, and O, The Oprah Magazine

"A joy to read—I couldn't get enough."
Buzzfeed

"This novel practically thumps with heartache and sharp humor."
—Chang-rae Lee, New York Times bestselling author of Native Speaker

An exuberant and wise multigenerational debut novel about the complicated lives and loves of people working in everyone’s favorite Chinese restaurant.

The Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland, is not only a beloved go-to setting for hunger pangs and celebrations; it is its own world, inhabited by waiters and kitchen staff who have been fighting, loving, and aging within its walls for decades. When disaster strikes, this working family’s controlled chaos is set loose, forcing each character to confront the conflicts that fast-paced restaurant life has kept at bay.

Owner Jimmy Han hopes to leave his late father’s homespun establishment for a fancier one. Jimmy’s older brother, Johnny, and Johnny’s daughter, Annie, ache to return to a time before a father’s absence and a teenager’s silence pushed them apart. Nan and Ah-Jack, longtime Duck House employees, are tempted to turn their thirty-year friendship into something else, even as Nan’s son, Pat, struggles to stay out of trouble. And when Pat and Annie, caught in a mix of youthful lust and boredom, find themselves in a dangerous game that implicates them in the Duck House tragedy, their families must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice to help their children.

Generous in spirit, unaffected in its intelligence, multi-voiced, poignant, and darkly funny, Number One Chinese Restaurant looks beyond red tablecloths and silkscreen murals to share an unforgettable story about youth and aging, parents and children, and all the ways that our families destroy us while also keeping us grounded and alive.

 

About Lillian Li

See more books from this Author
 
Published June 19, 2018 by Henry Holt and Co.. 304 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Cooking, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Number One Chinese Restaurant
All: 1 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Apr 16 2018

With its deliciously depicted restaurant setting and knowing perspective on Chinese-American culture, this novel is two-thirds cultural comedy. The other third is something deeper and sadder. A writer to watch.

Read Full Review of Number One Chinese Restaurant... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Reader Rating for Number One Chinese Restaurant
82%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 14 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×