Let’s be honest. We writers dream that the books that live inside us will find their way into bookstores, libraries, and homes, will come to life in the hands of avid readers under shady hammocks or in favorite chairs. These books will have splendid covers and rave reviews that honor the love we put into the process. But for many aspiring writers, the journey between finishing a manuscript and launching a book is veiled in mystery. The cogs and wheels of publishing are strangely opaque to the authors themselves. This Porch Happy Hour Series will both illuminate the process, and more importantly celebrate authors who have recently “birthed” their books.
Our guest is Simon Han and his book Nights When Nothing Happened.
Named a Best Book of the Year by TIME, The Washington Post, and Harper's Bazaar
Named a Most Anticipated book for Fall by USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, and more.
“A tender, spiky family saga about love in all its mysterious incarnations.” —Lorrie Moore, author of A Gate at the Stairs and Birds of America
“Absolutely luminous… Weaves the transience of suburbia between the highs and lows of a family saga. . . Shocks, awes, and delights.” —Bryan Washington, author of Memorial
From the outside, the Chengs seem like so-called model immigrants. Once Patty landed a tech job near Dallas, she and Liang grew secure enough to have a second child, and to send for their first from his grandparents back in China. Isn’t this what they sacrificed so much for? But then little Annabel begins to sleepwalk at night, putting into motion a string of misunderstandings that not only threaten to set their community against them but force to the surface the secrets that have made them fear one another. How can a man make peace with the terrors of his past? How can a child regain trust in unconditional love? How can a family stop burying its history and forge a way through it, to a more honest intimacy?
Nights When Nothing Happened is gripping storytelling immersed in the crosscurrents that have reshaped the American landscape, from a prodigious new literary talent.
Simon Han was born in Tianjin, China, and raised in various cities in Texas. His stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, The Texas Observer, Guernica, The Iowa Review, Electric Literature, and LitHub. The recipient of several fiction awards and arts fellowships, he lives in Carrollton, Texas.
Photo by Melissa Lukenbaugh
Suggested donation $10 - $15