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Troublemaker and Other Saints


Troublemaker and Other Saints

Who are the troublemakers and who are the saints? They're all Americans --- Asian-American, African-American, gay, bi, straight, old, young, tough, insecure. Christina Chiu's TROUBLEMAKER AND OTHER SAINTS gives us eleven stories that transcend the Asian background into which they have all been born and concentrates on the difficulties of getting by in this society when you're a little different from somebody else.

Essentially, since everybody is different from everybody else, readers will have no trouble with the saints and troublemakers of Chiu's stories. "Copycat" concentrates on a family whose daughter killed herself after musician Kurt Cobain took his own life. The suffering of the three remaining members is exacerbated by the selling of their home. In "Star," a committed gay couple deals with the stares and slights of the trying-to-cope Asian mom of one of them. "Troublemaker," which won third place in the Playboy Fiction Contest, is about a young street thug who finds his heart opened by caring for an elderly man he had previously attacked with a beer can. The fact that the main characters are Chinese is beyond the point. The fact that they are all complicated human beings is exactly the point.

Chiu writes in a clear, concise and often non-emotional language that gives the stories a sharpness and heft that they would be lacking if they were more melodramatic. TROUBLEMAKER AND OTHER SAINTS is efficient writing at its best, a wonderful debut collection of meaningful and pointed stories.

Reviewed by Jana Siciliano on March 1, 2001

Troublemaker and Other Saints
by Christina Chiu

  • Publication Date: March 1, 2001
  • Genres: Short Stories
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult
  • ISBN-10: 0399147152
  • ISBN-13: 9780399147159