Hunger: A Novella and Stories

Highbridge Audio. Jan. 2022. 6:24 hrs. ISBN 9781696607506. $15.99. F
First published in 1998, Chang’s (The Family Chao) debut collection of short fiction has now been reissued as an audiobook, with expert narration by Eunice Wong. The tales in this collection revolve around characters of Chinese descent moving precariously through a world full of beauty and opposition. Chang’s style is solemn, poetic and crisp, capturing the attention of readers with tense plot lines and a balance of description and dialogue. The title novella is told from the perspective of Min, the wife of a talented violinist whose rich inner world is at odds with the harsh standards of both society and her husband. As her two American-born daughters assert their independence in defiance of their father, Min awakens to her own desire for freedom, self-expression, and recognition beyond her role as wife and mother. The other stories in the collection are equally sharp and full of yearning, but the novella is the most memorable.
VERDICT Paired with Wong’s understated but dramatic performance, this audiobook is an absorbing listen and a key volume for libraries seeking to add representation of Asian American voices to contemporary fiction collections.
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