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Book Cover for: Shanghailanders, Juli Min


Juli Min

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66% of readers

recommend this book

Critic Reviews


Based on 7 reviews on

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A dazzling and ambitious debut novel that follows a cosmopolitan Shanghai household backward in time--beginning in 2040 and moving through our present and the recent past--exploring their secrets, their losses, and the ways a family makes and remakes itself across the years.

2040: Wealthy real estate investor Leo Yang--handsome, distinguished, a real Shanghai man--is on the train back to the city after seeing his family off at the airport. His sophisticated Japanese-French wife, Eko, and their two eldest children, Yumi and Yoko, are headed for Boston, though one daughter's revelation will soon reroute them to Paris. 2039: Kiko, their youngest daughter and an aspiring actress, decides to pursue fame at any cost, like her icon Marilyn Monroe. 2038: Yumi comes to Yoko in need, after a college-dorm situation at Harvard goes disastrously wrong.

As the years rewind to 2014, Shanghailanders brings readers into the shared and separate lives of the Yang family parent by parent, daughter by daughter, and through the eyes of the people in their orbit--a nanny from the provinces, a private driver with a penchant for danger, and a grandmother whose memories of the past echo the present. We glimpse a future where the city's waters rise and the specter of apocalypse is never far off. But in Juli Min's hands, we also see that whatever may change, universal constants remain: love is complex, life is not fair, and family will always be stubbornly connected by blood, secrets, and longing.

Brilliantly constructed and achingly resonant, Shanghailanders is an unforgettable exploration of marriage, relationships, and the layered experience of time.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
  • Publish Date: May 7th, 2024
  • Pages: 288
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 8.56in - 5.94in - 1.00in - 1.02lb
  • EAN: 9781954118607
  • Categories: LiteraryWomenWorld Literature - China - 21st Century

About the Author

Juli Min is a writer and editor based in Shanghai. She studied Russian and comparative literature at Harvard University, and she holds an MFA in fiction from Warren Wilson. She was the founding editor of the Shanghai Literary Review and served as its fiction editor from 2016 to 2023. Her first novel, Shanghailanders, will be published in May 2024 by Spiegel & Grau (US) and Dialogue Books (UK). Translations are also forthcoming in Japanese, Spanish, Norwegian, and German.

Critics’ reviews

Praise for this book

"Bracing, thrilling, and breathtakingly smart, Shanghailanders is more than a spectacular debut--it offers a new way of seeing. Not just of Shanghai, but of France, Japan, America, and every last corner of its characters' minds. Every page is a new discovery, but the book's best is Juli Min herself. Absolutely extraordinary."--Liam Callanan, author of When in Rome and Paris by the Book

"Shanghailanders is a wonderful and wildly smart and compelling book. If Shanghai is the future, this terrific novel knows it all. We follow a glorious cluster of characters as they trip over their own longings, in this fiction of real astuteness."--Joan Silber, author of Improvement

"Lyrical and haunting, Shanghailanders explores the enduring mysteries of family. With its inventive structure--the years spooling in reverse, told through rotating perspectives--Juli Min movingly portrays the Yangs and their many seasons of love and loss in a metropolis that perpetually rises, falls, and emerges from the ashes. An extraordinary debut."--Vanessa Hua, author of Forbidden City