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Publisher's Summary

In this sprawling, award-winning novel, celebrated Chinese writer Liu Xinwu cordially invites you to an epic, riotous, and moving neighborhood feast.

On a December morning in 1982, the courtyard of a Beijing siheyuan - a lively quadrangle of homes - begins to stir. Auntie Xue’s son Jiyue is getting married today, and she is determined to make the day a triumph. Despite Jiyue’s woeful ignorance in matters of the heart - and the body. Despite a chef in training tasked with the onerous responsibility of preparing the banquet. With a cross-generational multitude of guests, from anxious family members to a fretful bridal party - not to mention exasperating friends, interfering neighbors, and wedding crashers - what will the day ahead bring?

Set at a pivotal point after the turmoil of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Liu Xinwu’s tale weaves together a rich tapestry of characters, intertwined lives, and stories within stories. The Wedding Party is a touching, hilarious portrait of life in this singular city, all packed into a Beijing courtyard on a single day that manages to be both perfectly normal and utterly extraordinary at the same time.

©2016 Liu Xinwu (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Translation © 2021 by Jeremy Tiang.

Critic Reviews

“Caroline McLaughlin makes the most of this romp through a wedding day, told through the eyes of Auntie Xue, an ambitious, exasperated mother who is also the matriarch of her neighborhood. Fans of Chinese fiction will find much to admire as McLaughlin sets an energetic pace for a story filled with colorful characters and their slightly manic antics. She moves us from Auntie Xue to her clueless son—the reluctant bridegroom—and a slew of guests who span a wide age range.… Told with gusto, this is a fun listening experience.”AudioFile Magazine

“This novel introduces readers to the boisterous milieu of a siheyuan, one of Beijing’s traditional multifamily courtyard residences, via the story of the Xue family’s wedding banquet…A lovingly rendered portrait of a city and its inhabitants, the novel is also an act of preservation.”The New Yorker

“The novel’s heart lies with quiet, passionately competent chef Xichun, whose cooking never falters and who never loses sight of his and others’ humanity. A deep immersion in everyday life in Beijing after the Cultural Revolution.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 

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have trouble understanding the narrator

I am disappointed in the narration which I find difficult to follow. The book is wonderful but I have to read the print copy.