Home Remedies
In twelve stunning stories of love, family, and identity, Xuan Juliana Wang’s debut collection captures the unheard voices of an emerging generation. Young, reckless, and catapulted toward uncertain futures, here is the new face of Chinese youth on a quest for every kind of freedom.From a crowded apartment on Mott Street, where an immigrant family raises its first real Americans, to a pair of divers at the Beijing Olympics poised at the edge of success and self-discovery, Wang’s unforgettable characters – with their unusual careers, unconventional sex lives and fantastical technologies – share the bold hope that, no matter where they’ve come from, their lives too can be extraordinary.

Home Remedies Details

TitleHome Remedies
Author
ReleaseMay 14th, 2019
PublisherHogarth
ISBN-139781984822741
Rating
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Cultural, China

Home Remedies Review

  • Blair
    January 1, 1970
    A strong debut collection of short stories. Billed as being specifically about the Chinese millennial experience, but in fact it's rather broader than that; there's nothing about 'unconventional sex lives' or 'fantastic technologies' in here either. (That blurb is weird.) The 12 stories are sorted into three sections: 'Family', 'Love', and 'Time and Space'. One of the most exciting things about this collection is its variety of voices and tones, the sense that each new story represents a complet A strong debut collection of short stories. Billed as being specifically about the Chinese millennial experience, but in fact it's rather broader than that; there's nothing about 'unconventional sex lives' or 'fantastic technologies' in here either. (That blurb is weird.) The 12 stories are sorted into three sections: 'Family', 'Love', and 'Time and Space'. One of the most exciting things about this collection is its variety of voices and tones, the sense that each new story represents a completely fresh perspective. At times, Xuan Juliana Wang's writing made me think of Jen George or Kristen Roupenian, but really, Home Remedies is its own thing.My favourites were:'Days of Being Mild': Largely plotless account of a group of Bei Piao, 'the twenty-somethings who drift aimlessly to the northern capital, a phenomenal tumble of new faces to Beijing.' They fall in love, break up, make music, watch porn, go drinking. The story is packed with details that feel authentic, tender and/or funny.We are not good at math or saving money but we are very good at being young.'Fuerdai to the Max': The narrator and his friend Kenny are fuerdai – second-generation rich. They've been studying in California, but have now returned to Beijing under something of a cloud. What did they do? These overprivileged kids initially come off as oddly likeable, but the deceptively casual narrative is leading us to a horrible revelation.By the time the police tried to find me at school, I was out of the country. They couldn't keep our names straight anyway. Zhang, Ming, Yuyao, Jirui, Kao, Duo Duo, Fung, it was all the same to the cops. They couldn't tell us apart, they didn't know if a person was missing, just thought it was one person with three names or three people with the same name.'Home Remedies for Non-Life-Threatening Ailments': Presented as practical advice on dealing with emotional problems, this story progresses through a series of increasingly absurd scenarios. 'Bilingual Heartache', for example, is 'someone breaking your heart in a foreign language. It is like regular heartache but somehow it's painful in a creative, innovative way.' The advice for that one is to pray for a painful, unsightly cold sore, so 'you can instead wallow in self-pity'.Tipple Nyquil from the bottle, and as your arms go numb and your chest sinks to the bottom of the mattress, think how much better life is now. Really!'Vaulting the Sea': Taoyu and Hai are champion synchronised divers. Taoyu is secretly in love with Hai, but he also feels Hai is inseparable from himself; they have been training together since childhood, eating and studying together, sharing a bed. The characters' movements and interactions are described with graceful lyricism, and there are some beautiful images here, particularly the final scene.He couldn't explain it, but he felt right in that water, a space rapturous, ancient with life.'The Strawberry Years': As a favour to a colleague, Yang agrees to look after a Chinese actress who's visiting New York. Only she gets obsessed with his apartment and refuses to leave, protesting that it's so popular with the fans who watch her livestream, and can't Yang just find somewhere else to live? This nightmarish premise made my skin crawl, and it's brought to life precisely and effectively as Yang's identity is slowly dismantled. Ultimately, he seems to grasp at the possibilities of his chameleonic existence in New York, but an open ending leaves the reader to imagine his fate.The actress suddenly laughed heartily even though he hadn't said anything and nothing was funny.'Echo of the Moment': This one is, for me, the best in the book. Chinese-American Echo is living in Paris when an American acquaintance, Celine, offers her a cache of free designer clothes. When Echo presses for an explanation, the answer is macabre: the original owner – a Korean model named Mega Mun – killed herself a few days earlier. But Echo can't resist the lure of the luxurious outfits, which not only feel as though they were made for her, but also seem to have a mysterious, powerful, even supernatural effect on her life. This story is irresistibly compelling and so perfectly crafted. In fact, it's one of the best ghost stories I've read this year."How could anyone who owns a pair of marbled horsehair boots want to die?" she asked aloud.I received an advance review copy of Home Remedies from the publisher through Edelweiss.TinyLetter | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr
    more
  • Megan Tristao
    January 1, 1970
    Called a “radiant new talent” by Lauren Groff, Xuan Juliana Wang has written a debut collection about Chinese millennials. Weike Wang says these stories “surprise and challenge in wonderful, wonderful ways.” - Electric Lit
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    January 1, 1970
    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'It’s what Taoyu wanted, to disappear from Hai’s life completely, to leave a wound that would ache. That was the only way they could be equals.'Home Remedies is a gorgeous collection of stories about Chinese immigration, family structure, love, sex and the privilege of choices. The future for each character is never certain, and splits open guiding them to places they never imagined they would be. Home, some make their way in American life with via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'It’s what Taoyu wanted, to disappear from Hai’s life completely, to leave a wound that would ache. That was the only way they could be equals.'Home Remedies is a gorgeous collection of stories about Chinese immigration, family structure, love, sex and the privilege of choices. The future for each character is never certain, and splits open guiding them to places they never imagined they would be. Home, some make their way in American life with ease, abandoning their old skins and sometimes their family too. Others cling to the old ways of a country they will never return to. One thing is certain, each person will make their own story, even if it means becoming someone other than what’s expected.In White Tiger of the West, the world is weary of Grandmasters, there no longer seems to be a place for spirituality but for one obedient little girl Grandmaster Tu could be the very thing that awakens a tiger, and gives her the flight of freedom. Home Remedies of the old involved tonics, tinctures, herbs… but in one story remedies are cleverly applied to survive say, a “bilingual heart” and “self-doubt”. Olympic divers are one in Vaulting the Sea, but what love is equal? Just how much can you meld yourself to another? I thought this was a beautifully painful tale of love and rejection, if any story is about identity it was this one. My favorite and most heart-breaking is Algorithmic Problem Solving for Father-Daughter Relationships. Logic as the meaning, the answer to all of lives obstacles simple application of algorithms “a theory that proves itself day after day” until a former professor, clueless father needs to solve the new problem of his daughter Wendy, who “I somehow managed to drive away from me.” My heart! By far the best story within!In this collection time stands still or rushes past. Characters are emerging into a bright future or retiring from their dreams, wearing clothes of the dead, or slicing through water in perfect sync. Sometimes they are just suffering through an “unremarkable period” of their life. It is stories about the youth, but the old have their say too, it’s like they live in different worlds sometimes. Moving, strange, exciting, biting… fantastic.Publication Date: May 14, 2019Crown PublishingHogarth
    more
  • Aaron
    January 1, 1970
    One of my favorite sensations as a reader is stumbling across something perfect and unexpected, something you weren't looking for and never knew you needed, and you come away feeling richer for the experience. Home Remedies does that, repeatedly, with each strange little slice of life feeling like a concentrated burst of observation, a window into a truly strange stranger's head, rendering a consistently alien experience somehow relatable, while your brain marinates in a stew of subtle details t One of my favorite sensations as a reader is stumbling across something perfect and unexpected, something you weren't looking for and never knew you needed, and you come away feeling richer for the experience. Home Remedies does that, repeatedly, with each strange little slice of life feeling like a concentrated burst of observation, a window into a truly strange stranger's head, rendering a consistently alien experience somehow relatable, while your brain marinates in a stew of subtle details that feel right even when you're not entirely sure what they all mean.What we have here, in simple terms, is a collection of short stories written by a Chinese-American author. We consistently see tales of emigration--families, children, students, hustlers, and others leaving China to restart their lives in the United States--and what that feels like for all involved. We also see China from a perspective few Americans could conjure on their own, the kind of perspective born from some kind of lived experience--whether first-hand or absorbed from family and friends, I'm not entirely sure, but it certainly feels real as you read. As I dug deeper into the book, I felt the weight of Chinese culture looming in the background, in ways I hadn't expected and ways I can't really articulate in a short review.I realize as I read all that back it sounds like I'm describing a travelogue, but Home Remedies isn't that at all. It's a swirl of characters built out of bundled observations, little bursts of thought and feeling, all perfectly rendered, somehow cohering into a series of tiny stories, but stories built on the backs of human-sized lives, if that makes sense. Xuan Juliana Wang experiments with form several times throughout the book, sometimes employing impressionistic lists but just as often keeping things straightforward on the structural front only to swerve into magical realism to keep us on our toes. It's a cop-out to point to Raymond Carver when describing good short fiction, but I think there's a reasonable parallel here to the extent Wang is able to do so much with so little, to leave only a few threads on the page but lace those threads with mystique, heart, detachment, longing, unease, humor, millennial ennui, i.e., the stuff of life. Her characters are traced in electric prose but carved in relief, silhouettes painted on the page with just enough detail, just enough narrative to make them indelible and intoxicating, relatable but ultimately unknowable. It's a hell of a trick, and no accident. Wang is confident, subtle, and remarkably consistent, toying with expectations, cleanly sidestepping cliches, all that good stuff.If I have a criticism, it's that I wish this book were longer. I couldn't put it down, and I probably read it faster than I should have. Before I knew it the end was upon me, and I was bummed, left yearning and bereft. Home Remedies gets my highest recommendation for short fiction; run don't walk, do the right thing, yadda yadda.
    more
  • Paris (parisperusing)
    January 1, 1970
    "Taoyu sent Hai's name echoing in the halls of the dormitory. … he ran … to him at full speed. He needed something that only Hai could give him. He knew it was love. Only Hai could replace his wasted heart with his own." — "Vaulting the Sea," Xuan Juliana WangWang wields the raw, cathartic quality of a storyteller who can render her readers to tears with no effort at all. A reader like me, especially, who sobbed in the corner of a coffee shop as I pored over these characters and the bottomless d "Taoyu sent Hai's name echoing in the halls of the dormitory. … he ran … to him at full speed. He needed something that only Hai could give him. He knew it was love. Only Hai could replace his wasted heart with his own." — "Vaulting the Sea," Xuan Juliana WangWang wields the raw, cathartic quality of a storyteller who can render her readers to tears with no effort at all. A reader like me, especially, who sobbed in the corner of a coffee shop as I pored over these characters and the bottomless depths of emotion and concern with which she writes their lives. For anyone who's ever felt like a trespasser in their own body, culture or country, I believe Home Remedies was written just for you.Through 12 stories, Home Remedies offers an eyewitness view at a number of Chinese individuals whose lives become upended by abandonment, death, sexual and spiritual awakenings. "Home Remedies for Non-Life-Threatening Ailments" gives a litany of hard pills to swallow for afflictions of grief, self-pity, and consolation; "For Our Children and For Ourselves" steers an arranged marriage in the path of emotional departure in lieu of financial happy endings; "Vaulting the Sea" (my absolute favorite among them all) finds two Chinese boys — one gay, the other straight — who mature into synchronized diving celebrities at the summit of a sexual coming-of-age. The latter of these stories, in a way, could arguably level with the devastating homoeroticism of Annie Proulx's Brokeback Mountain.Written with intricate beauty and rage, these glamourous stories could easily rival any American millennial drama. Wherever your myths and prejudices lie on Chinese narratives, let them vanish in the advent of Wang's remarkable voice.Thank you again, Hogarth, for allowing me to read Home Remedies in advance — it was a wonderful experience.
    more
  • Rhiannon Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Read my review on my blog: https://ivoryowlreviews.blogspot.com/...**I was given an advanced copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**Let me cut to the chase...I've added Wang to my "auto-buy" authors list. If this is her debut, I can only imagine what else is to come...and I'm excited for it! Her ability to create layers of depth in each short story and characters who are complex, ambitious, and achingly unsure of themselves had me tearing through thi Read my review on my blog: https://ivoryowlreviews.blogspot.com/...**I was given an advanced copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**Let me cut to the chase...I've added Wang to my "auto-buy" authors list. If this is her debut, I can only imagine what else is to come...and I'm excited for it! Her ability to create layers of depth in each short story and characters who are complex, ambitious, and achingly unsure of themselves had me tearing through this entire collection in a single morning.
    more
  • Vivek Tejuja
    January 1, 1970
    It is so tricky to start reading a short story collection. You think: Will I like all the stories? Will I like some stories at least? Will it be the same as reading a novel? What if I want some stories to last longer? That will not happen. Should I then read a short story collection at all? There will always be such thoughts, doubts, and apprehensions one might have before starting a short story collection and yet when you do and the reading is so rewarding, you want everyone else to read the bo It is so tricky to start reading a short story collection. You think: Will I like all the stories? Will I like some stories at least? Will it be the same as reading a novel? What if I want some stories to last longer? That will not happen. Should I then read a short story collection at all? There will always be such thoughts, doubts, and apprehensions one might have before starting a short story collection and yet when you do and the reading is so rewarding, you want everyone else to read the book as well. And this is why I am recommending “Home Remedies” by Xuan Juliana Wang. And yes, the stories might seem familiar, but trust me they are not. The twelve stories span across China and America, and speak of choices: of immigration, love, sex, and the family structure. The stories challenge the reader – you think hooting for one character and immediately the narrative changes. It also makes you see perspectives – one cannot take sides. An immigrant family raising its first Americans to a father-daughter relationship involving logic, to a story about a woman becoming a fashion icon after taking a dead girl’s clothes, Wang’s stories are of family, belonging, and displacement. Mostly also unclassifiable, these stories are also quite dream-like. The characters with their unusual sex lives and technology that stunned me are thrown into an abyss, which only Wang knows the exit of. The writing looms large of Chinese cultural undertones, while the American way of life runs in parallel. Home Remedies is built out of small observations and details. The stories are rendered perfectly, well-done and extremely rewarding. The stories do not have an end in themselves and that works – the unknowable, the speculation, and the way she is almost playing with the readers’ expectations. Home Remedies is a short read, with only twelve stories, and is full of heart and brilliant storytelling.
    more
  • Audra (ouija.doodle.reads)
    January 1, 1970
    A stunning debut short story collection that is about so much more than just the young Chinese voices it captures. Wang’s voice is strong and distinct, different in every story, which is quite a feat of its own. I felt each of the characters inhabiting the pages, almost as if they could have held their own novel instead of just fifteen to twenty pages. I can’t wait to see what is next from this writer. There are three parts to the book, “Family,” “Love,” and “Time and Space,” and I had a favorit A stunning debut short story collection that is about so much more than just the young Chinese voices it captures. Wang’s voice is strong and distinct, different in every story, which is quite a feat of its own. I felt each of the characters inhabiting the pages, almost as if they could have held their own novel instead of just fifteen to twenty pages. I can’t wait to see what is next from this writer. There are three parts to the book, “Family,” “Love,” and “Time and Space,” and I had a favorite story from each section.“Mott Street in July” is about a family of Chinese Americans, specifically the experience of the kids growing up as the first of their family in America—the sacrifices, pains, mistakes, and opportunities. But more broadly, it is an exquisite story about the divide, clash, coming together, and remaking of culture into something new.“Fuerdai to the Max” is about the second generation rich, narrated by a kid you can’t help but to like, despite his extreme over privilege and lax ideas about consequences and the way things should work.“Echo of the Moment” was my favorite of the collection, about a girl visiting Paris alone who finds herself in possession of a dead girl’s wardrobe. The clothes turn her into a celebrity, but it’s like a strange ghost story—she’s someone else, inhabiting someone else’s life.This is a collection that short story readers will delight in.My thanks to Hogarth/Crown Publishing for sending me this one to read and review.
    more
  • Elena L.
    January 1, 1970
    HOME REMEDIES is a collection of twelve short stories that center around the new generation of Chinese youth.The writing is easy and being a Chinese/Taiwanese descendant, I could particularly relate to the Chinese expressions and slang. In addition, the immigrant family's stories also spoke to me and brought to my heart a nostalgic/familiar feeling of home and identity. These stories explore topics such as love, family, identity and immigration. While they showed me multiple perspectives of a Ch HOME REMEDIES is a collection of twelve short stories that center around the new generation of Chinese youth.The writing is easy and being a Chinese/Taiwanese descendant, I could particularly relate to the Chinese expressions and slang. In addition, the immigrant family's stories also spoke to me and brought to my heart a nostalgic/familiar feeling of home and identity. These stories explore topics such as love, family, identity and immigration. While they showed me multiple perspectives of a Chinese (new) generation, I felt uninterested in some short stories. The characters were realistic however they could have been deeper explored. I enjoyed the setting both in China and America, giving us genuine situations that Chinese immigrants go through. "Home remedies" is perfect for readers seeking an insightful and realistic view of Chinese immigrants. I am looking forward to reading more of Xuan Juliana Wang.[I received a complimentary copy from Hogarth in exchange for an honest review]
    more
  • Beck
    January 1, 1970
    Home Remedies is a beautifully written collection of short stories set in both China and the United States. I really enjoyed all of the stories, but my favorites included a story about a young woman becoming a fashion icon after taking a dead girl's clothes, one about a high diver secretly in love with his diving partner, and another in which a young man in New York picks up an actress at the airport as a favor only to have her usurp his life (or at least his living arrangements). Wang explores Home Remedies is a beautifully written collection of short stories set in both China and the United States. I really enjoyed all of the stories, but my favorites included a story about a young woman becoming a fashion icon after taking a dead girl's clothes, one about a high diver secretly in love with his diving partner, and another in which a young man in New York picks up an actress at the airport as a favor only to have her usurp his life (or at least his living arrangements). Wang explores themes of family and belonging in absolutely lovely prose. Highly recommended. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the advanced copy!
    more
  • James Beggarly
    January 1, 1970
    Exciting debut of stories showing a variety of Chinese men and women as they come of age in various cities in America and Beijing. Very interested to see what she comes up with next.
  • Brenda Scanzillo
    January 1, 1970
    Home Remedies is a beautiful collection of short stories capturing the millennial Chinese experience both in China and in the US. I loved every story in this book. One of my favorites was Future Cat, in which a woman in San Francisco, lonely while her husband works all the time and reliving memories of a lost love from her past, experiments with the abilities of her new “Wine Ager” to affect more than wine. In another favorite, The Strawberry Years, Yang does a favor for a young actress visiting Home Remedies is a beautiful collection of short stories capturing the millennial Chinese experience both in China and in the US. I loved every story in this book. One of my favorites was Future Cat, in which a woman in San Francisco, lonely while her husband works all the time and reliving memories of a lost love from her past, experiments with the abilities of her new “Wine Ager” to affect more than wine. In another favorite, The Strawberry Years, Yang does a favor for a young actress visiting from China only to find it is not so easy to get her to leave his Brooklyn warehouse loft. The best story of the book may be Echo of the Moment, the story of a young Chinese-American woman living in Paris whose life is transformed when a benevolent acquaintance calls her with an offer of some new clothes. I predict Home Remedies will be another short story collection (along with Mouthful of Birds) that we’ll see on all of the best of 2019 lists. It deserves it.Thank you to Crown and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
    more
  • Sachi Argabright
    January 1, 1970
    HOME REMEDIES is a collection of short stories featuring Chinese and Chinese American life. From a pair of Olympic synchronized divers in China to a NY father using algorithm logic to help him raise his daughter - this collection has a wide array of stories to offer.I have very mixed feelings about this collection. While some stories are heartwarming, others felt very cold and distant. I was also surprised to find that almost all of the 12 stories were centered around male protagonists. Since th HOME REMEDIES is a collection of short stories featuring Chinese and Chinese American life. From a pair of Olympic synchronized divers in China to a NY father using algorithm logic to help him raise his daughter - this collection has a wide array of stories to offer.I have very mixed feelings about this collection. While some stories are heartwarming, others felt very cold and distant. I was also surprised to find that almost all of the 12 stories were centered around male protagonists. Since the author identifies as female, I was hoping to hear more of her writing from a female perspective. I enjoyed her writing, and most of the stories had interesting premises, but I would’ve like to see more female representation in the collection as well. Also, there were only 2 occurrences, but I didn’t like the use of (in my opinion) offensive language related to disabilities and homosexuality. Overall, some of these stories were enjoyable, but others left me uninterested and wanting to rush through the book.
    more
  • Patricia
    January 1, 1970
    These are the stories of chinese millenials figuring out how to live and making the best and worst of it.Wang has a soft touch when it comes to describe difficult situations. Her voice carries a melancholic sweetness that leaves You thinking and delighted at the same time.Each story carries its own personal voice and perspective.It is easy to get caught in these short stories, feel, live and remember them. There are eerie elements in some of the stories and others are painted with full shock of These are the stories of chinese millenials figuring out how to live and making the best and worst of it.Wang has a soft touch when it comes to describe difficult situations. Her voice carries a melancholic sweetness that leaves You thinking and delighted at the same time.Each story carries its own personal voice and perspective.It is easy to get caught in these short stories, feel, live and remember them. There are eerie elements in some of the stories and others are painted with full shock of reality and this made Them even more exquisite.She has this extraordinary way of contrasting one story against another while at the same time delineate all the similarities within the characters emotions and/ or emptyness and apathy. In “Echo of the moment”, We can feel both as in “Fuerdai to the Max”, which together with “Home Remedies”became my favourites in this collection.
    more
  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    The stories in Home Remedies were so enjoyable. This is the type of book you want to read and enjoy slowly, and really take in. Xuan Juliana Wang does a phenomenal job bringing the characters to life. As an Asian American, I felt these stories were so real and relatable. The writing and storytelling is so good though that I think anybody would enjoy this. Such a refreshing piece!! I read so many rave reviews about the author from editorial sources and I truly hope the she will publish more books The stories in Home Remedies were so enjoyable. This is the type of book you want to read and enjoy slowly, and really take in. Xuan Juliana Wang does a phenomenal job bringing the characters to life. As an Asian American, I felt these stories were so real and relatable. The writing and storytelling is so good though that I think anybody would enjoy this. Such a refreshing piece!! I read so many rave reviews about the author from editorial sources and I truly hope the she will publish more books in the future, as I’m craving more of her writing. Read this!!
    more
  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to Penguin Random House for sending me this interesting good reads give away. Xuan Juliana Wang is a first rate story teller and author. Her short story collection hits tragedy, empathy and humor. Looking forward to more of her writing.
  • Katy
    January 1, 1970
    This is a well written and nuanced short story debut loosely focused on Chinese millennials. The stories were about equally hit or miss for me — some were excellent and some didn’t work for me at all.
  • Carly Thompson
    January 1, 1970
    Strong short stories about family, love, duty, and Chinese identity. Some of the stories had a bit of the surreal about them.
  • The Sass Man
    January 1, 1970
    Awesome!
  • RaeAnna Rekemeyer
    January 1, 1970
    Home Remedies by Xuan Juliana Wang is a beautiful collection of short stories about a generation of Chinese. https://onthebl.org/2019/05/11/home-r...
Write a review