Four Treasures of the Sky
by Zhang, Jenny Tinghui






A Chinese girl struggles to find her place in the 1880s American West after being kidnapped and smuggled, working at a calligraphy school and a San Francisco brothel as anti-Chinese sentiment sweeps across the country. 200,000 first printing.





Jenny Tinghui Zhang is a Chinese-American writer. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Apogee, Ninth Letter, Passages North, The Rumpus, HuffPost, The Cut, Catapult, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the University of Wyoming and has received support from Kundiman, Tin House, and VONA/Voices. She was born in Changchun, China and grew up in Austin, Texas, where she currently lives. Four Treasures of the Sky is her debut.





*Starred Review* Zhang's debut novel imaginatively illuminates an often-overlooked aspect of American history that resonates powerfully today, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and concurrent anti-Asian violence. As a child in China, Daiyu resents being named after Lin Daiyu, a tragic heroine; she promises herself that she will never be so weak. On her own at 12, she passes as a boy and finds work at a calligraphy school until she is kidnapped and trafficked to the U.S. Fleeing from a San Francisco brothel, she reinvents herself again as a young man named Jacob and finds relative security and friendship in a town in the mountains of Idaho. But as anti-Chinese sentiment spreads across the American West, Daiyu is forced not only to reckon with the legacy of her namesake but also to find a way to integrate all of her identities. Zhang's blend of history and magical realism will appeal to fans of Ta-Nehisi Coates' The Water Dancer (2019) as well as Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement (2013), Maxine Hong Kingston's iconic memoir, The Woman Warrior (1976), and Tom Lin's ­Carnegie Medal-winner The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu (2021). Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.





*Starred Review* Zhang's debut novel imaginatively illuminates an often-overlooked aspect of American history that resonates powerfully today, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and concurrent anti-Asian violence. As a child in China, Daiyu resents being named after Lin Daiyu, a tragic heroine; she promises herself that she will never be so weak. On her own at 12, she passes as a boy and finds work at a calligraphy school until she is kidnapped and trafficked to the U.S. Fleeing from a San Francisco brothel, she reinvents herself again as a young man named Jacob and finds relative security and friendship in a town in the mountains of Idaho. But as anti-Chinese sentiment spreads across the American West, Daiyu is forced not only to reckon with the legacy of her namesake but also to find a way to integrate all of her identities. Zhang's blend of history and magical realism will appeal to fans of Ta-Nehisi Coates' The Water Dancer (2019) as well as Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement (2013), Maxine Hong Kingston's iconic memoir, The Woman Warrior (1976), and Tom Lin's ­Carnegie Medal-winner The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu (2021). Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.






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