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Bury What We Cannot Take


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  • Description
  • About the Author
  • Shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize 2020 (English, Fiction)

    The day San San and her brother Ah Liam’s lives are forever changed is the day they discover their grandmother taking a hammer to Chairman Mao’s portrait. Believing he is doing right by proving his loyalty to the Party, Ah Liam reports his grandmother, setting in motion a terrible chain of events. 

    Now they must flee their home on Drum Wave Islet, which sits just a few hundred meters across the channel from mainland China. But when their mother goes to procure visas for safe passage to Hong Kong, the government will only issue them on the condition that she leave behind one of her children as proof of the family’s intention to return.

    Against the backdrop of early Maoist China, this captivating tale follows a family as they grapple with the far-reaching consequences of their decisions and their hope for redemption.

  • Kirstin Chen is the bestselling author of Bury What We Cannot Take and Soy Sauce for Beginners. She has received awards from the Steinbeck Fellows Program and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. Her writing has appeared in Real Simple, Literary Hub and Writer’s Digest. She was born in Singapore and is working in San Francisco on a novel about the counterfeit handbag trade. She teaches creative writing at the University of San Francisco and in Ashland University.

ISBN: 9781542049719
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 286
Year Published: 2018