Le Garcon Magnifique
Glorious Boy in French translation,
published by Mercure de France!
Glorious Boy is also available as an audiobook!
"The most memorable and original novel I've read in ages… evokes every side in a multi-cultural conversation with sympathy and rare understanding."
– Pico Iyer, author of Autumn Light
Finalist for the 2020 Staunch Book Prize
A tale of war and devotion, longing and loss, and the power of love to prevail…
“Reminiscent of the tone and atmosphere of Somerset Maugham and George Orwell’s Asia-set novels, Glorious Boy is a Second World War story of adventure and loss, uniquely set in the Andaman Islands, one of India’s farthest flung territories” – Asian Review of Books
"In 1942, Claire Durant waits with her husband and young son for the all-clear to leave the Andaman Islands, where they’ve been stationed since 1936. The Andamans, east of India in the Bay of Bengal, are home to a colony of Burmese and Indian convicts as well as the native people, the Biya. Claire, a budding anthropologist, has been studying the Biya and getting to know them, but as WWII intensifies, she has no choice but to leave the people she loves. There is one other complication: Naila, their young servant, has a special relationship with Claire’s son, Ty. And when Naila disappears with Ty, there’s no telling what will happen to the family as they are wrenched apart. This fascinating novel examines the many dimensions of war, from the tragedy of loss to the unexpected relationships formed during conflict. The Andamans are a lush and unusual setting, a sacred home to all kinds of cultures and people, and Liu’s prose is masterful. A good choice for book groups and for readers who are unafraid to be swept away." --Booklist STARRED review
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To read an Excerpt from Glorious Boy
OF THE ANDAMAN ISLANDS
Read Aimee's essay on the origins of Glorious Boy in LitHub --HERE
Latest Blog posts:
My Father's Secrets, Decoded at Last
My father was his family’s gatekeeper. Born in Shanghai in 1912, the eldest of his biracial siblings, he was raised to straddle East and West. He kept the peace between his Chinese father and American mother. And as the one member of his family who corresponded with those he’d left behind after moving to America in the 1930s, he alone held the secrets that could wound, shame, and inflame the relatives who’d immigrated with him.
Those secrets lay buried in the mass of junk that Dad hoarded throughout his life. After he died in 2007, I took the lead in curating this tangled mess. Both as a writer and as his daughter, I was fascinated by the mystery surrounding my remote, taciturn father. I hoped that in all his stuff, I’d discover the reasons why he claimed to remember so little about his past in China. Fifteen years later, I’m finally beginning to decode the evidence he was shielding.
This story originally posted @Medium HERE
Yellowface in the Family
I was cleaning out my father’s office after his death when I discovered the history of his movie years, stuffed into a soft red and gold Moroccan leather folio. This trove of yellowing newspaper clippings and gauzy headshots thrilled me. Here at last was the archive that would help me piece together Dad’s unlikely acting career 70 years earlier.
He’d never wanted to talk about his Hollywood days. MGM’s 1937 version of The Good Earth was the only movie he’d admit to being part of, which was odd because he hadn’t even made the final cut. His appearance as one of the uncles in the opening scene wound up on the editing room floor. He also worked as a technical consultant for the crews that shot in China. Dad had grown up in Shanghai, the son of a Chinese official who’d remained in Nanking after Dad’s American mother moved the rest of the family to California. My father doubtless was very useful to the production, given the various wars and political intrigues that were brewing in China at the time, but this role, too, was uncredited.
Not until late in his life, just a few years before he died, did I learn that both Dad and his sister Lotus performed onscreen with some of the biggest movie stars of the 1930s. On an idle whim, my brother had searched for their names on IMDb. According to his listed credits, our father, Maurice Liu, played the Hawaiian bridegroom in Waikiki Wedding, starring Bing Crosby. In Shadow of Chinatown, a Bela Lugosi vehicle, Dad appeared as a house boy. In West of Shanghai, with Boris Karloff, he was listed as a train conductor. Lotus had nine films under her name.
The Foster Sister I Never Knew
Why did my parents really let her go?
I was born three years after my parents gave my foster sister back. As far as my mother was concerned, I replaced her. My father, I’m not so sure. Josie would have been about six by then. My brother, Marc, was seven. I grew up without knowing the first thing about Josie’s existence.
Only as an adult did I trip across the one photograph that my parents seemed to possess of her. There, tucked into some ancient album, appeared a small blond stranger stepping down Fifth Avenue between my equally small older brother and our fashionable mother. Easter, 1949, the caption read. My mother wore a black veil, white gloves, and a fox stole with its jaws biting its tail to secure it around her shoulders. I recognized the fox, which still hung in the coat closet. I recognized my brother and mother, though I’d never known them so young. But who was that other toddler?
“That’s Josie,” my mother informed me. “She was our foster child.”
“We had a foster child?” Every word of that sentence sounded improbable.
Full article @ authoraimeeliu.Medium.com
Nostalgia for the East Coast Bonded Us in a West Coast ER
Hometown memories become a source of cheer during medical emergencies
What makes for a delightful conversation when you’re waiting to find out whether a loved one is closer to life, or to death? Well, if the emergency room is in Los Angeles, chats about the good old days on the East Coast seem to be just the ticket.
I’ve spent more time in ERs over the past couple of years than I want to admit to myself, let alone to you. Aged mother and older husband. Comes with the territory. I’m not writing this to let you in on our medical tsuris, though. I’m writing to tell you about an easy trick that helps lift the spirits in times like these.
And so here we are, back in the ER again tonight, waiting endlessly for a room upstairs to open so my husband can be admitted. Going on six hours of tests, drips, charts, blips, anxiety, boredom, occasional Code Blue announcements in the hallway outside. And talk about the East Coast, where it seems like half the staff here comes from.
Full article @ authoraimeeliu.Medium.com
The Dust Storm of First Memories: When you belong to a different world than the one you’re supposed to call home
My first memories take me back to the rooftop terrace in Delhi where my family slept on hot summer nights when I was three years old. Part of me will forever lie awake under that ocean of stars, the desert sky stretching wide and deep and uncannily quiet, the darkness pungent with dung smoke infused with night-blooming jasmine. Around me, my parents and older brother form a protective ring of shadows.
Then, as if by the flick of a switch, the wind erupts. Dust howls out of nowhere, whipping us into action. We move in a panic of flapping sheets and hoisted cots, making for the stairwell and down to our white, sweltering flat, where the sand beats savagely against the shutters, like a stranger demanding to be let in.
I was not born in India, but as far as memory is concerned, Delhi was my first home. There my mind and senses awoke, chasing snails into pools of shade, hiding under the garden’s frangipani, or rising on tiptoes to watch the daily parade of cows and elephants and sadhus trudging the unpaved road below our balcony. I loved the long-lashed camels dressed in tassels and bright-colored blankets. Who knew where they were going, where they’d traveled from?
Full article @ authoraimeeliu.Medium.com