Lisa Schwarzbaum
September 24, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Yiyun Li
publisher
Random House
genre
Short Stories

We gave it a B+

Hong Kong-born director Wayne Wang made his name with quirky, observant films rooted in Chinese culture like Chan Is Missing and Eat a Bowl of Tea before Hollywood lured him into Styrofoam projects like Maid in Manhattan (2002). So his return to personal form is welcome. Based on a story by Yiyun Li about an elderly man from Beijing (Henry O) who comes to the U.S. to visit his grown businesswoman daughter (Faye Yu), A Thousand Years of Good Prayers is a spare, controlled study in communication gaps and a piercing sketch of suburban American loneliness. B+

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