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All That Work and Still No Boys

All That Work and Still No Boys How do we survive our family stay bound to our community and keep from losing ourselves In All That Work and Still No Boys Kathryn Ma exposes the deepest fears and longings that we mask in family

  • Title: All That Work and Still No Boys
  • Author: Kathryn Ma
  • ISBN: 9781587298226
  • Page: 382
  • Format: Paperback
  • How do we survive our family, stay bound to our community, and keep from losing ourselves In All That Work and Still No Boys , Kathryn Ma exposes the deepest fears and longings that we mask in family life and observes the long shadows cast by history and displacement Here are ten stories that wound and satisfy in equal measure Ma probes the immigrant experience, most pHow do we survive our family, stay bound to our community, and keep from losing ourselves In All That Work and Still No Boys , Kathryn Ma exposes the deepest fears and longings that we mask in family life and observes the long shadows cast by history and displacement Here are ten stories that wound and satisfy in equal measure Ma probes the immigrant experience, most particularly among northern California s Chinese Americans, illuminating for us the confounding nature of duty, transformation, and loss A boy exposed to racial hatred finds out the true difference between his mother and his father Two old rivals briefly lay down their weapons, but loneliness and despair won t let them forget the past A young Beijing tour guide with a terrible family secret must take an adopted Chinese girl and her American family to visit an orphanage And in the prize winning title story, a mother refuses to let her son save her life, insisting instead on a sacrifice by her daughter Intimate in detail and universal in theme, these stories give us the compelling voice of an exciting new author whose intelligence, insight, and wit impart a sense of grace to the bitter resentments and enduring ties that comprise family love Even through the tensions Ma creates so deftly, the peace and security that come from building and belonging to one s own community shine forth.

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      Published :2019-08-05T20:06:49+00:00

    About "Kathryn Ma"

    1. Kathryn Ma

      Kathryn Ma was born and raised in Pennsylvania, part of a large extended family with roots in China and the U.S She attended Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.Kathryn is the author of the novel The Year She Left Us, coming from HarperCollins in May 2014 Her short story collection, All That Work and Still No Boys, won the Iowa Short Fiction Award and was named a San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Discoveries Book.Before becoming a writer, Kathryn practiced law in San Francisco She is an active volunteer in the arts and education, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon As her best friends like to remind her, With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come The Merchant of Venice.Author photo by Andria Lo

    132 Comments

    1. In All That Work and Still No Boys, Kathryn Ma writes short stories with one thing in common: the Chinese American experience in California. This book is not for those who like conventional storytelling. Each chapter is the story of a person or family, sometimes related to another person or family in the book and sometimes not at all. The stories jump through time and space—sometimes told in first person and sometimes in third—but each chapter brings a refreshing and unique look at the way d [...]


    2. The stories in this slim book center mostly around the intricacies of the family life and personal conflicts of Chinese-American immigrants, though a few of the characters featured have no clear markers of ethnicity. Many of the stories focus on fraught areas of gender relations and the relative value of "boys" and "girls" within family structures.The title story focuses on a matriarch who needs a new kidney but refuses to allow her adult son (who has the best match for transplant) to donate, cl [...]


    3. I liked Kathryn Ma's first short story collection. Her characters are funny, charismatic, deeply flawed, contradictory and do practically illegal yet completely believable things; They remind me of my own immigrant family. There's the soft-spoken woman who, during a disagreement, pushes her son down the stairs. There's the two woman in the nursing home who could qualify as frenemies. There's the stubborn mother who wants to take a kidney from her daughters, but not from her son, whose kidney is [...]


    4. This is one of the few literary works about the Asian American immigrant experience that I could not relate to even a little bit. Of all the sets of characters in all the various stories, I was unable to find a shared conflict or common perspective, in spite of being "off the boat" myself. The core issues that I should have identified with, being family, race, immigration they were TOO specific to the particular characters to be relatable in a general ethnic sense. I was disappointed. Kathryn Ma [...]


    5. A lot of these stories have a sort of curated feel—they're very clean, almost hermetic, and they feel very magazine-y. This is definitely the sort of thing that gets published in the New Yorker, etc. Which isn't a criticism, I guess, but the stories I enjoyed most were the ones with a little humor, the looser ones, the ones with some voice—these had a little more soul to me. Being a white male I have a hard time relating to the immigrant experience, though that's probably my fault as a reade [...]


    6. This excellent set of short stories focuses on Chinese-American women as main characters. BUT--in a few of the stories, this is not obvious in any way, shape, or form. Why? Because these girls are Americans, and live American lives. This is a nice change in the many, many stories/novels I have read, which sometimes neglect the fact that an immigrant's or a first-generation American's experiences will be quintessentially American in many ways. This also relates strongly to my own life, and my fat [...]


    7. I've got a full review up on my blog.Initial review:I'll have a fuller review up soon, but for now I'll just say that I really liked it. It's not a good book to read if you only like linear, "traditional" stories, but if you like stepping outside of that box, I think you would enjoy it. More soon.


    8. These stories, while very short, were incredibly powerful. Each one seemed to encapsulate an idea about being an immigrant in America, which was expressed so subtly that you only realised it at the end of the story. The things and feelings left unsaid were as forceful as the writing, if not more so.


    9. I guess these are fine - I liked the stories with older women as the protagonists, because that's really an under-represented demographic. Ma does a good job with aging. And I think the title story is quite good. But after a while the Iowa Writers Workshop of it all started to wear thin.


    10. bought this book because i interned for a semester at the university of iowa press and remember the iowa short fiction award from my time there. there were some nice pieces in this book, but i found it overall uneven.


    11. Beautiful stories that each give a slightly different angle to the Asian-American experience. I especially liked the title story, about a mother who needs a kidney transplant, and her four daughters and single son.


    12. From Recommended Books and Writers in the Spring 2010 issue of Ploughshares. Recommended by Laura van den Berg.




    13. Wonderful, rich, complex and different stories around the same theme. Kathryn Ma is a master of this genre in her description, characters, and diversity of themes. A must read!


    14. a great debut story collection. Chinese-Americans (first generation and their children) navigating between tradition and change, West Coast and east, family ties and forging ahead.


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