Showing both the drama of familial intimacy and the ups and downs of the everyday, My Old Faithful introduces readers to a close-knit Chinese family. These ten interconnected short stories, which take place in China and the United States over a thirty-year period, merge to paint a nuanced portrait of family life, full of pain, surprises, and subtle acts of courage. Richly textured narratives from the mother, the father, the son, and the daughters play out against the backdrop of China's social and economic change.
With quiet humor and sharp insight into the ordinary, Yang Huang writes of a father who spanks his son out of love, a brother who betrays his sister, and a woman who returns to China after many years to find her country changed in ways both expected and startling.
"Yang Huang's collection of linked stories peels back the layers of a culture too often rendered exotic and opaque to reveal what is intimate and familiar. Sexual awakenings, sibling rivalries, the pain and joy of raising children, aging, the constraints of love and loyalty are all dealt here with a gentle and incisive hand. My Old Faithful is a deeply moving portrait of a family and a society."—Hasanthika Sirisena, author of The Other One
"Charming, funny, and deeply moving, Yang Huang's My Old Faithful chronicles a family over time, in all their struggles and joys."—Vanessa Hua, author of Deceit and Other Possibilities
"Fans of Huang's powerful debut novel, Living Treasures, will welcome the author's return in My Old Faithful. With its rare views of family life in contemporary China, My Old Faithful's intersecting tales of the vibrant—sometimes explosive—Chen family demonstrate once again Huang's big-hearted gift for penetrating both our vices and virtues."—Elizabeth Evans, author of As Good as Dead
"In My Old Faithful, Yang Huang explores with humor, tenderness and fierce precision the ties that bind and separate a family across time and space. Filled with unexpected turns and a painterly attention to detail, this is a wise and beautiful book."—Elizabeth Graver, author of The End of the Point
"My Old Faithful establishes Yang Huang as one of our most provocative writers on contemporary China. Imagine Ferrante telling a family's story from prismatic perspectives and you come close to Huang's triumph. Here you find a debut writer adept at sidestepping the timeworn: she gives us a story so real it bursts the bounds of the form, becoming an autofiction which, in its humanity, quickly becomes yours as well."—Edie Meidav, Juniper Prize for Fiction judge and author of Kingdom of the Young
"Yang Huang's collection of linked stories traversing 30 years of time between China and America makes a bold statement with sparse yet subtly beautiful prose and contemporary Chinese characters . . . It's the author's strong narrative voice that propels this tightly crafted array of quotidian sorrows and joys — and what makes this book feel in some ways like a novel-in-stories rather than a more traditional collection."—Washington Independent Review of Books
"Yang Huang's new collection of 10 linked stories is set in China and the United States over three decades . . . the results yield a rich contemporary narrative of family dynamics and social upheaval."—San Jose Mercury News
""My Old Faithful," zooms readers straight into the minds and hearts of each member of a middle-class family in a struggling, censored, restricted China — from the 1970s, when the children are small, to their young adulthoods, and their parents' 30th wedding anniversary . . . Huang's background — growing up in China's Jiangsu province — so richly informs this moving collection, we feel ourselves becoming each protagonist in the course of each story."—San Francisco Chronicle
Winner of the 2018 Forward Indies’ Gold Award for Multicultural Adult Fiction and Bronze Award for Short Story Collection