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Fiction Literary

The Conjoined

A Novel

by (author) Jen Sookfong Lee

Publisher
ECW Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2016
Category
Literary, Family Life, Cultural Heritage
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781770412842
    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price
    $18.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781770909052
    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price
    $13.99
  • Downloadable audio file

    ISBN
    9781770909717
    Publish Date
    Mar 2017
    List Price
    $32.99

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Description

 

Longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award

A masterful and gripping novel from “an undeniably talented writer” (Globe and Mail)

On a sunny May morning, social worker Jessica Campbell sorts through her mother’s belongings after her recent funeral. In the basement, she makes a shocking discovery — two dead girls curled into the bottom of her mother’s chest freezers. She remembers a pair of foster children who lived with the family in 1988: Casey and Jamie Cheng — troubled, beautiful, and wild teenaged sisters from Vancouver’s Chinatown. After six weeks, they disappeared; social workers, police officers, and Jessica herself assumed they had run away.

As Jessica learns more about Casey, Jamie, and their troubled immigrant Chinese parents, she also unearths dark stories about Donna, whom she had always thought of as the perfect mother. The complicated truths she uncovers force her to take stock of own life.

Moving between present and past, this riveting novel unflinchingly examines the myth of social heroism and traces the often-hidden fractures that divide our diverse cities.

 

About the author

Jen Sookfong Lee was born and raised on Vancouver's East Side, and she now lives with her son in North Burnaby. Her books include The Conjoined, nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize; The Better Mother, a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award; The End of East; Gentlemen of the Shade; Chinese New Year and The Animals of Chinese New Year. Jen was a columnist for CBC Radio One's The Next Chapter for many years. She teaches at The Writer's Studio Online with Simon Fraser University, edits fiction for Wolsak & Wynn and co-hosts the literary podcast Can't Lit.

 

Jen Sookfong Lee's profile page

Awards

  • Short-listed, Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Editorial Reviews

 

“With flawless writing and gothic imagination, Lee shows how a forgotten crime can reveal uncomfortable truths about family, class, and racism. The Conjoined is a fearless novel and a compulsive read.” — Emily Schultz author of The Blondes

“The mystery of how the girls died is not the book’s main focus, but this captivating novel still moves with the pace of a thriller as it deftly fills in the gaps in the lives of several people, each fractured by horrors of their very own, joined as one in betrayal, trauma, and uncertainty.”  — Publishers Weekly

“Though the plot races along, I found depths to The Conjoined that moved me . . . This book is a gem of necessary truths.” — A Bookish Type

“Sookfong Lee is a gifted writer, telling a complicated story with depth and insight . . . The Conjoined is a quick, compelling read. But its characters and their stories will linger.” — Vancouver Sun

“This is a story about family relationships and how they can break and fail. It's also about identity, suffering, broken social systems, and understanding how the past forms us. There's a lot going on here, but these themes organically engage and shape one another.” — Falling Letters

 

Other titles by Jen Sookfong Lee

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