A stunning depiction of the Chinese-American experience and a deeply affecting novel about fathers and sons from the author of the prizewinning story collection Pangs of Love."Louie is elegant, funny, a touch spooky, and he has as fine a ...
e has as fine a hair-trigger control of alienation and absurdity as any of the best of his generation."--Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times Book Review
Sterling Lung grew up in the back of his parent's laundry dreaming about being a real American while speaking Chinese to his mother, English to his friends, and very little to the father he seemed always to disappoint. Now twenty-six and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Sterling cooks French food for the WASP ladies of a private club in Connecticut and conducts an arm's-length affair with an old Swarthmore classmate, a Jewish-American Princess from New Canaan, thereby frustrating his father's dream of a doctor son and his mother's scheme for a Chinese bride. For Sterling's parents, the barbarians are not coming: they are here now.
In a tale that alternates between black comedy and out-and-out slapstick, between the pain of a son alienated from his father and a father an alien in his son's native land, The Barbarians Are Coming reveals the deep psychic wounds each man has suffered even as it ultimately leads to a reconciliation that is as moving as it is necessary. Here is a tale of the immigrant experience--indeed, of the American experience: of the deracination of the second generation and the wrenching losses of the first.