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Home Remedies

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  870 ratings  ·  172 reviews
In twelve stunning stories of love, family, and identity, Xuan Juliana Wang’s debut collection captures the unheard voices of an emerging generation. Young, reckless, and catapulted toward uncertain futures, here is the new face of Chinese youth on a quest for every kind of freedom.

From a crowded apartment on Mott Street, where an immigrant family raises its first real Ame
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by Hogarth
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A gorgeous collection of short stories that centers the Chinese millennial experience and spans topics like immigration, family, romance, and how where we come from affects how we relate to others. This is going to be a lop-sided review because I have to first focus on my favorite story from this collection, “Vaulting the Sea.” “Vaulting the Sea” made my poor gay heart break and heal and ache as I cheered for its queer protagonist Taoyu. This story focuses on Taoyu and his best friend Hai, a pai ...more
A strong debut collection of short stories. Billed as being specifically about the Chinese millennial experience, but in fact it's rather broader than that; there's nothing about 'unconventional sex lives' or 'fantastic technologies' in here either. (That blurb is weird.) The 12 stories are sorted into three sections: 'Family', 'Love', and 'Time and Space'. One of the most exciting things about this collection is its variety of voices and tones, the sense that each new story represents a complet ...more
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really really good! These mostly realistic stories worked exceedingly well for me - especially those that were told unchronologically in a way that I have not encountered in short stories before. This way of telling a story is something I particularly enjoy, so I was very pleased when I realized what Wang was doing. Not every story did work for me but enough did that I will be reading whatever she writes next. I also cannot get over the absolutely stunning cover.
I’m usually not a huge fan of short story collections, mainly because I don’t like the “incomplete” nature of short stories and the feeling I always get that I’m being left hanging. One of the things I detest most when I’m reading is to get deep into a story and its characters, only to have it end abruptly, with no logical conclusion to speak of – the ones that annoy me the most are those that feel like the author stopped in the middle of a thought and the writing all of a sudden drops off (thes ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
The spirit of these stories are 21st century Chinese youth with less baggage and more autonomy, whether they are in China (Beijing mostly) or elsewhere.

This was another story collection from the Tournament of Books longlist.

My favorite stories (linked to literary mags when available):
-Mott Street in July
-Home Remedies for Non-Life-Threatening Ailments
-Vaulting the Sea
Anna Luce
While browsing a charity shop I picked up this collection of short stories. What drew me the most to Home Remedies was its cover (bright pink in my edition), and while I wasn't expecting to like every single story, I hoped that I would find a few to be memorable. Sadly, none of the stories drew me in. Wang examines some serious—and potentially compelling—themes (generational differences, dislocation and deracination, familial expectations vs. personal identity) but her stories never led anywhere ...more
This collection of short stories blew me away. One doesn't expect such level of expertise and command of the genre from a first collection, but Wang is definitely a short story writer. She may go on to write novels as well, but this is a genre she owns.

This is one of those cases in which the author's being a "millennial" is incidental. The themes are universal. The writing is fantastic. Amazing.
Betsy Robinson
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a remarkable, imaginative collection of stories. There is nothing here that I've seen before. The garden of Chinese characters is exotic to me simply because I've known nothing about them. The writing is elegant, sophisticated, and sometimes mature beyond what I would expect from somebody who looks as young as Wang does in her photo. Stories range from self-entitled rich kids who I didn't know existed in Communist China to old souls who understand growing old and loss and change.

Kudos to th
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite sensations as a reader is stumbling across something perfect and unexpected, something you weren't looking for and never knew you needed, and you come away feeling richer for the experience. Home Remedies does that, repeatedly, with each strange little slice of life feeling like a concentrated burst of observation, a window into a truly strange stranger's head, rendering a consistently alien experience somehow relatable, while your brain marinates in a stew of subtle details t ...more
Paris (parisperusing)
"Taoyu sent Hai's name echoing in the halls of the dormitory. … he ran … to him at full speed. He needed something that only Hai could give him. He knew it was love. Only Hai could replace his wasted heart with his own." — "Vaulting the Sea," Xuan Juliana Wang

Wang wields the raw, cathartic quality of a storyteller who can render her readers to tears with no effort at all. A reader like me, especially, who sobbed in the corner of a coffee shop as I pored over these characters and the bottomless d
Inderjit Sanghera
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The series of stories which make-up 'Home Remedies' explores the experiences of the 21st century Chinese diaspora both in China and across the Western world. Two themes permeate the stories; firstly the sense of dislocation and displacement felt by the nouveau rich, a sense that money and materials goods will somehow replace the sense of spiritual emptiness engendered by their sense of rootlessness. Secondly is the strange sense of angst brought about by living in the modern world; a world domin ...more
Megan Tristao
Jan 02, 2019 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Megan by: Electric Lit: 48 Books By Women and Nonbinary Authors of Color to Read in 2019
Called a “radiant new talent” by Lauren Groff, Xuan Juliana Wang has written a debut collection about Chinese millennials. Weike Wang says these stories “surprise and challenge in wonderful, wonderful ways.” - Electric Lit
Lolly K Dandeneau
via my blog:
'It’s what Taoyu wanted, to disappear from Hai’s life completely, to leave a wound that would ache. That was the only way they could be equals.'

Home Remedies is a gorgeous collection of stories about Chinese immigration, family structure, love, sex and the privilege of choices. The future for each character is never certain, and splits open guiding them to places they never imagined they would be. Home, some make their way in American life with
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So bleak. A collection of short stories that are all sad, melancholic or downright depressing. The writing is good, some nice poetic turns of phrases and it's rather impressive how many different bleak scenarios the author managed to come up with.

Lost immigrants in America, lost young adults in materialistic China, lost second generation immigrant kids between two cultures, no emotional connections between humans. Without a single happy end for any of the characters, these stories leave you dec
Bill Hsu
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I understand the enthusiasm for these stories. I wish the execution was more consistent though. A couple ("The Art of Straying Off Course", for instance) didn't do anything for me at all.
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-release
“What do we really have but our moral consciousness?”
Audra (ouija.doodle.reads)
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
A stunning debut short story collection that is about so much more than just the young Chinese voices it captures. Wang’s voice is strong and distinct, different in every story, which is quite a feat of its own. I felt each of the characters inhabiting the pages, almost as if they could have held their own novel instead of just fifteen to twenty pages. I can’t wait to see what is next from this writer.

There are three parts to the book, “Family,” “Love,” and “Time and Space,” and I had a favorit
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: race, short-stories, lgbt
This is a great debut collection! I share the consensus about "Vaulting the Sea" being a favorite. Wang masterfully intersects individual Asian experiences with the societies they exist in, giving these stories both a grand and intimate feel.
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book is ok. I was excited to read it because it's a collection of short stories from various perspectives of Chinese millennials and some of the stories are set in familiar places, like the Bay Area. However, almost all of these stories felt like talking to someone who seems to have a lot more depth than they actually do, when you get to know them. I feel like I've known these types of people before--who seem really ~broken~ and ~lost~ and if they have money and privilege, use it as a means ...more
Rhiannon Johnson
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read my review on my blog:

**I was given an advanced copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

Let me cut to the chase...I've added Wang to my "auto-buy" authors list. If this is her debut, I can only imagine what else is to come...and I'm excited for it! Her ability to create layers of depth in each short story and characters who are complex, ambitious, and achingly unsure of themselves had me tearing through thi
Ryan Mishap
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
A very good collection that takes us around the globe while maintaining focus on the individual characters. I'm quite a fan of the those short stories that use the last page or paragraph to jump forward in time and have the character looking back and the technique is employed beautifully here--sometimes painfully as we realize that people who do bad things aren't usually punished or even regretful.

Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
It's overall well done technically but I was underwhelmed.

-each story is different and innovative (different from one another; nothing repeated)
-the punchline or climax is flat or nonexistent, (and I often wondered if I missed something or if the story was unformed or incomplete; some experiment that peters out near or at the end)
-stories are quirky, verging on gimmicky at a certain point (and makes me wonder if short stories should be packaged in a collection...or read serially)
-tone and style
Michelle Lu
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this! I don’t typically like short stories cuz they feel like one night stands- weirdly intimate but always leaving me hanging.

This is a collection of stories about...what felt like the “modern” chinese, chinese american, chinese diaspora experience. THIS IS WELL WRITTEN- easy, poetic, emotional, interesting, moving. Though I’m chinese american, i don’t know much about the different pockets of subcultures in Chinese twenty somethings, and this was a lovely fictional look into underground a
Elena L.
May 14, 2019 rated it liked it
HOME REMEDIES is a collection of twelve short stories that center around the new generation of Chinese youth.

The writing is easy and being a Chinese/Taiwanese descendant, I could particularly relate to the Chinese expressions and slang. In addition, the immigrant family's stories also spoke to me and brought to my heart a nostalgic/familiar feeling of home and identity.

These stories explore topics such as love, family, identity and immigration. While they showed me multiple perspectives of a Ch
Bri (
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-during-2019
This is the first time I can recall diving into short stories without being required for an assignment, and I LOVED them! The author poignantly creates deep glimpses into the lives of her characters, giving you a little taste of the Chinese millennial experience from multiple perspectives. My favorite story in the collection was “Algorithmic Problem Solving for Father-Daughter Relationships” because I found many similarities to the depicted father-daughter dynamic, which was weirdly soothing to ...more
Ben Truong
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Home Remedies is an anthology of short stories written by Xuan Juliana Wang. The anthology is a collection twelve stunning short stories of love, family, and identity, which stars East-Asian characters.

For the most part, I really like these contributions. These dozen short stories highlight Wang's formidable imagination in this wide-ranging debut collection about modern Chinese youth. Her characters are young people from all parts of life and sexuality as these young East-Asian youths try to mak
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Home Remedies was a very compelling assemblage of stories about the dilemmas and sense of not belonging as it pertains to transplanting one's roots elsewhere.

One of my favorite stories was The Strawberry Years that dealt with the harsh reality of how people view social media and the heights one will take to please others. A woman develops a compulsive interest in a man's apartment because her followers have fallen in love with the place while she is live streaming. The story gets pretty eerie fr
Sachi Argabright
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
HOME REMEDIES is a collection of short stories featuring Chinese and Chinese American life. From a pair of Olympic synchronized divers in China to a NY father using algorithm logic to help him raise his daughter - this collection has a wide array of stories to offer.

I have very mixed feelings about this collection. While some stories are heartwarming, others felt very cold and distant. I was also surprised to find that almost all of the 12 stories were centered around male protagonists. Since th
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A gorgeously-written, deeply-felt collection of stories. The book is arranged in three sections: Family, Love, and Time and Space.

There are so many moments of insight in these stories that are unexpected but feel just right, like this one in Algorithmic Problem-Solving For Father-Daughter Relationships... A father greets her daughter returning home from college - "I felt such a rush of affection for the girl that I went right up to her and pinched her arm really hard." Perfect.

Then there's the s
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