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Our Missing Hearts: A Novel

Our Missing Hearts: A Novel

In Our Missing Hearts, Celeste Ng writes us into a version of the United States that is terrifying in its plausibility. It calls out our willingness to select a focus of our fear and blame and to couch that group's punishment in the language of safety and patriotism. But by showing us this version of ourselves through the eyes of twelve-year-old Bird, she also captures that transitional moment between childhood and adulthood, when the world is big and scary, but still full of magic and possibility. The result is an indictment, a warning, and a promise: this is what we are capable of, but we can prepare ourselves, and our children, to choose a different path.

Rachel C.

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Author Celeste Ng
Publisher Penguin Press
Publication Date 2022-10-04
Section New Hardcover - Fiction / All Staff Suggestions / Fiction Suggestions / Rachel C.
Type New
Format Hardcover
ISBN 9780593492543

From the number one bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere, a deeply suspenseful and heartrending novel about the unbreakable love between a mother and child in a society consumed by fear

Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father, a former linguist who now shelves books in a university’s library. Bird knows to not ask too many questions, stand out too much, or stray too far. For a decade, their lives have been governed by laws written to preserve “American culture” in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity, the authorities are now allowed to relocate children of dissidents, especially those of Asian origin, and libraries have been forced to remove books seen as unpatriotic—including the work of Bird’s mother, Margaret, a Chinese American poet who left the family when he was nine years old.
 
Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn’t know her work or what happened to her, and he knows he shouldn’t wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, he is pulled into a quest to find her. His journey will take him back to the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of librarians, into the lives of the children who have been taken, and finally to New York City, where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change.
 
Our Missing Hearts is an old story made new, of the ways supposedly civilized communities can ignore the most searing injustice. It’s a story about the power—and limitations—of art to create change, the lessons and legacies we pass on to our children, and how any of us can survive a broken world with our hearts intact.

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