Little Hut of Leaping Fishes by Chiew-Siah Tei

Little Hut of Leaping Fishes

Chiew-Siah Tei

I quickly got used to the unusual, staccato prose as I became immersed in the life of Mingzhi. Bound from birth by filial responsibilities, he silently shies away from his Opium-growing grandfather, hoping that his education will offer an escape to a different world. This coming of age family saga brings to life late 19th century China, where new and frightening Western influences clash violently with centuries of tradition, ritual and expectation.

Extract

Red. Candles, curtain, sheets and covers. Cut-outs of Xi, Double Happiness, on the wall, the windows. The bright, dazzling colour of a wedding.
Mingzhi stands gazing at the figure by his bedside. Red veil, red gown, red shoes, almost melting into the background. He looks hard, but is unable to tell if she is fat or thin, pretty or ugly.
A stranger. My wife.

Parallels
  • Wild Swans by Jung Chang
  • Nanjing 1937: A Love Story by Ye Zhaoyan

Books with similar mood

The Cookbook Collector

Allegra Goodman

Night Waking

Sarah Moss

The Tenth Muse

Catherine Chung

Standing in the Rainbow

Fannie Flagg

The Hero's Walk

Anita Badami

The Love Parade

Matthew Branton

James Miranda Barry

Patricia Duncker

The Best People in the World

Justin Tussing

Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo

Julia Stuart

Death in Pont-Aven

Jean-Luc Bannalec

The Light Between Oceans

M L Stedman

Happiness is Possible

Oleg Zaionchkovsky

You Came Back

Christopher Coake

In the Falling Snow

Caryl Phillips

Girl in a Blue Dress

Gaynor Arnold

Bee Season

Myla Goldberg

The Paris Wife

Paula McLain

The One Who Wrote Destiny

Nikesh Shukla

Shotgun Lovesongs

Nickolas Butler

The Prisoner of Paradise

Romesh Gunesekera

The Main Cages

Philip Marsden

Ancient Promises

Jaishree Misra

The Beekeeper's Pupil

Sara George

Lyrics Alley

Leila Aboulela

Old Baggage

Lissa Evans

The Marrying of Chani Kaufman

Eve Harris

The Following Girls

Louise Lavene

The Lowland

Jhumpa Lahiri

The Rosie Project

Graeme Simsion

The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai

Ruiyan Xu

The Earth Hums in B Flat

Mari Strachan

Deaf Sentence

David Lodge

That They May Face The Rising Sun

John McGahern

Mr Golightly's Holiday

Salley Vickers

A Crying Shame

Renate Dorrestein

The Probable Future

Alice Hoffman

The Vine of Desire

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Something for the Weekend

Pauline Mclynn

Digging to America

Anne Tyler

The Vanishing Half

Brit Bennett

Tomorrow I'll Be Twenty

Alain Mabanckou

The Bookman's Tale

Charlie Lovett

Bitter Leaf

Chioma Okereke

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Rachel Joyce

The News Where You Are

Catherine O'Flynn

Life According to Lubka

Laurie Graham

The Eyrie

Stevie Davies

The Solitude of Thomas Cave

Georgina Harding

Old Filth

Jane Gardam