May-lee ChaiA funny, bittersweet love story about a Cambodian refugee coming of age in the American Midwest
“A remarkable act of literary magic.” —Robert Olen Butler
Nea, a Chinese Cambodian teenager, flees to Texas as a refugee from the Khmer Rouge regime when a miracle occurs. Although her family has been struggling to support itself, they discover that a wealthy aunt and uncle have managed to make it to America as well. Nea and her family rush to join their relatives and help run a Chinese restaurant in Nebraska. But soon Nea discovers their miracle is not what she had expected. Family fights erupt. Then the past – and a forbidden love– threaten to tear them all apart.
Dragon Chica follows Nea, an indomitable character in the tradition of Holden Caulfield, Scout Finch and Jo March, as she fights to save her family and herself.
May lee Chai is the author of six books, including The Girl from Purple Mountain, which was nominated for a National Book Award and the sequel to Dragon Chica, Tiger Girl. She is the recipient of a 2006 NEA Grant in Literature and has an M.A. from Yale in East Asian Studies and a second M.A. in English Creative Writing from the University of Colorado in Boulder. A former reporter for the Associated Press, she is currently a Chinese translator for PEN American Center. www.may-leechai.com
Paper, 256 pages
Fiction/Coming of Age