Meng Jin is a fantastic novice writer. She managed to impress audience very quickly with just a few novels that he has written so far. American Godddess at the Rape of Nanking is a classy fictional novel by Meng Jin. One more from the author that is worth mentioning here is Ichiro Dreams in Color.
Little Gods is a though-provoking fictional novel by Meng Jin. This is her debut novel as well. It explores a very complex scenario of memory, grief, time, history, physics and selfhood all encapsulated in an immigrant experience. It also tells a tale about a very complicated bond between mothers and daughters.
A woman on 4th June gives birth alone in a hospital in Beijing. This marks the start of the journey for a brilliant scientist to come with the name of Su Lan. She until this moment has wiped off all her past while fighting the mind’s arrow of the time. When Su Lan died an unexpected death 17 years after, then it is Liya, her own daughter who actually inherits contradictions and all the silences of her life. She grew up in United States and took her mother to Chine, which was an unknown country for her.
That was a territory occupied by ghosts of the dead and the living. The memories of Liya are connected with those of a couple of others. One is Zhu Wen. She was the one who last know Su Lan, before she departed for China. The other person was her father Yongzong, who Liya has hardly known ever.
The narration of this chapter is done by the trio of Karen Huie, Emily Woo Zeller and Francois Chau. The novel is a story about the heart wracking ways in which we all move through time and history. It is an intelligent and impressive debut from a novelist having latitude and longitude embedded all in her vision.
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