Adam B. Vary
June 20, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Lost Men

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Brian Leung
publisher
Shaye Areheart
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B

At 8, Westen Chan’s white mother is killed in a car wreck, and his Chinese-born father abandons him to her relatives in rural Washington. Aimless and alone at 32, Westen is unexpectedly invited by his estranged dad to accompany him on a trip to China: ”There are things about your mother you should know.” That revelation (and several others) follow. But Leung, acclaimed for his 2004 story collection World Famous Love Acts, mutes their power under the narrative, scenic, and emotional complexities he piles into Lost Men, his first novel. He should have trusted his ability to construct devastatingly simple scenes — like a mother and son piecing together a jigsaw puzzle for the last time. B

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