How Much of These Hills is Gold (Paperback)C Pam Zhang (author)
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Set in the afterglow of the great American Gold Rush, Zhang’s haunting and heart-breaking debut follows the brutal journey of two immigrant teenage girls after the unexpected death of their sole parent.
Longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2021
What makes a home a home?
Tell me a story I can dream on...
Ba dies in the night, Ma is already gone. Lucy and Sam, twelve and eleven, are suddenly alone and on the run. With their father's body on their backs, they roam an unforgiving landscape dotted with giant buffalo bones and tiger paw prints, searching for a place to give him a proper burial.
How Much of These Hills is Gold is a sweeping adventure tale, an unforgettable sibling story and a remarkable novel about a family bound and divided by its memories.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 267 g
Dimensions: 196 x 126 x 26 mm
‘[An] arresting debut novel… has a mythic quality through which Zhang dissects history and belonging.’ - The Sunday Telegraph
‘... Zhang’s novel blossoms in the course of its 336 pages into a daring and haunting little epic.’ - The Sunday Times
‘It is a self-consciously important book about loneliness, belonging and the ferocious delusion of the American Dream. The story is conveyed in a spare, lyrical prose with sharp, pronounced imagery.’ - The Times
'A truly gifted writer' - Sebastian Barry
'Pure gold' - Emma Donoghue
'Remarkable. It will haunt readers' - Chigozie Obioma
'In this haunting adventure story set during the Gold Rush, two newly orphaned Chinese American immigrants are on the run in a ravaged landscape. Lucy and Sam carry the body of their newly deceased father as they roam, in pursuit of a place to give him a proper burial. Fusing Chinese symbolism and re-imagined history, this debut explores the question of where immigrants are allowed to belong, memories that bind and divide families, the illusion of the American Dream and the search for a home and fortune.' - Cosmopolitan
'Zhang's bleak, brutal and brilliant debut rewrites the history of the American West with a story of two siblings battling to survive during the gold rush.' - iPaper (Best of the Arts in 2020)
'Zhang's debut novel is a smart, beautiful and intimate legend, not only of an immigrant family, but also of an expanding empire. One day, a pair of teenage siblings wake up to the sudden death of their father, a former prospector and coal miner. In the afterglow of the American gold rush, the two girls find themselves orphaned and vulnerable, and their very existence as immigrants is denied by this seemingly promising land. Carrying a stolen horse, their father's body, and a pistol, they set off on their journey to give their father a proper burial. In their adventure, they witness the extermination of giant buffalos, encounter the ghosts of ruined nature, and discover family memories. How Much of These Hills is Gold ambitiously examines the nation's long neglected racialised past and, more importantly, brings those individuals to life again on the page, with their desire and anger, longing and frustration.' - The Millions
'This exhilarating novel unweaves the myths of the American West and offers in their place a gorgeous, broken, soulful, feral song of family and yearning, origin and earth. C Pam Zhang is a brilliant, fearless writer. This book is a wonder.' - Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
'C Pam Zhang's debut is ferocious, dark and gleaming, a book erupting out of the interstices between myth and dream, between longing and belonging. How Much of These Hills Is Gold tells us that stories--like people, like the rough and stunning landscape of California itself--are constantly in the process of being made, broken, and finally remade into something tender and new.' - Lauren Groff, New York Times-bestselling author of Fates and Furies
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