Emory University, Oxford College Virtual Event with Writers' Workshop Director, Lan Samantha Chang

Poster for Emory University Lan Samantha Chang reading
November 9, 2020 - 6:30pm

As part of the Oxford Studies program, Emory University in Atlanta, GA will host Iowa Writers' Workshop Director, Lan Samantha Chang online on November 9 at 6:30 P.M. CST. Join via Zoom: https://emory.zoom.us/s/694929263

Lan Samantha Chang’s new novel, The Family Chao, will be published by W.W. Norton in 2022. She is the author of two previous novels, All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost and Inheritance, and a story collection, Hunger. Samantha’s short stories have appeared in The Atlantic MonthlyPloughshares, and The Best American Short Stories. She has received fellowships from the American Library in Paris, the Radcliffe Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa, where she is Elizabeth M. Stanley Professor of the Arts and Director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa.

During the event, Samantha will read from her forthcoming novel, The Family Chao--an upended mystery that examines the impact the Iowan community and the Chao family have on each other, when pressures internal and external to the Chaos tragically collide. Ignored by the residents of Haven, Iowa, aside from their ability to concoct delicious Americanized Chinese dishes, the Chaos become embroiled in festering family drama that ultimately leads to the murder of the deeply troubled patriarch, Leo Chao, and the subsequent passing of the gentle, kind matriarch, Winnie, two deaths which draw the exacting gaze of the entire town. The story begins with Dagou, Ming, and the youngest, James, reuniting in Haven, only to find their mother and father separated, and their family on the brink of ruin. When Dagou is accused of killing his father, the spotlight on the family (and the fate of the family dog) during the ensuing trial proves how alienated the Chaos are--no matter how American or Midwestern they might have thought themselves to be--and the potential motives each of the Chao sons and those closest to them might have had. At times, heartbreaking, and at others comical, THE FAMILY CHAO takes readers on a suspenseful journey of one Chinese American immigrant family grappling with the subtle, yet established, xenophobia of their seemingly pleasant small town. After the reading, Dr. Cage Conley, a Workshop alumna and Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University's Oxford College, will be in conversation with Samantha about her forthcoming novel, the socio-political landscape of the United States, and creative and professional development for writers.