Claire Dederer: ‘A Long Stay in a Distant Land’: The Lums Of the O.C.
From The New York Times:
Chieng’s first novel, “A Long Stay in a Distant Land,” is a generous family saga disguised as a tight coming-of-age story. That coming-of-age belongs to Louis Lum, a couple of years out of college but still adrift. Louis, a fact checker at a hot-rod magazine (who knew such an occupation existed?), lives with his depressive, gangsta-rap-loving father, Sonny. Through Louis, we meet the extended family of “The Lums of Orange County, California,” as Chieng labels their family tree with tongue-in-cheek grandeur. Of Cantonese origin, the Lums came to Southern California from San Francisco 40 years earlier and are much given to dying of unnatural causes. Louis’s mother has recently upheld the family tradition by getting herself killed in a car accident.