In her provocative debut novel, Disorientation, Elaine Hsieh Chou examines the unraveling of one Taiwanese-American family caught in the grip of assimilation and its discontents. Told through a series of interconnected narratives that shift back and forth in time, Disorientation charts three generations of women as they confront their individual quests for identity and fulfillment while reckoning with the larger forces that have shaped their lives. From San Francisco to Toronto to Taipei, these characters are forced to grapple with themes both universal and deeply personal: love and loss; betrayal and redemption; heartache and hope. With lyrical prose that deftly captures the complexities of familial bonds, Dis Orientation is an emotionally charged exploration of what it means to forge one’s own path when tradition threatens to define you.
For who is this book for ?
This book is for those who are interested in novels that explore the unraveling of a Taiwanese-American family. It tells the story of three generations of women and their individual quests for identity and fulfillment while reckoning with the larger forces that have shaped their lives. The lyrical prose effectively captures the complexities of familial bonds, making it an emotionally charged read.
- The characters are complex and interesting
- It’s a page-turner
- The writing is beautiful
- The author jumps around in time a lot, which can be confusing.
- The characters are not always likable.
- The ending is ambiguous and unsatisfying.
Learn more about the author
Elaine Hsieh Chou is a Taiwanese-American writer and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She earned her MFA from Mills College, where she now teaches creative writing. Her work has been featured in Narrative Magazine, The Best American Essays 2016, and elsewhere.
“Disorientation is a dazzling debut novel. Elaine Hsieh Chou has written a lyrical and deeply moving story about family, identity, and home. Her characters are richly drawn and utterly believable; their stories will stay with you long after you finish the book.”
“Disorientation is a beautifully written and powerful novel. Elaine Hsieh Chou deftly explores the intricacies of family dynamics, identity, and tradition in graceful prose that draws readers into her characters’ lives. I was deeply moved by this story of women struggling to find their place in the world.”
“Elaine Hsieh Chou’s beautifully written novel is a sensitive and perceptive exploration of the conflicts faced by second-generation immigrants in their efforts to find themselves and forge new identities. The characters are richly drawn, and the story moves between past and present with ease, illuminating the hidden secrets that lie at the heart of families. Disorientation is an absorbing read.”
“This beautifully written and powerful debut novel explores the universal themes of love, loss, identity, and belonging. Elaine Hsieh Chou has a deft touch with her characters’ complex emotions, and I was drawn into their lives as they grapple with the forces that have shaped them. A truly memorable read.”