In an uproarious debut, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen lays bare the complicated generational relationships of Chinese American women. In the 41 tales, each constituting a chapter, the novel fuses fiction with elements of poetry and fables, creating its own genre.
Raucous twin sisters Moonie and Mei Ling Wong are known as the “Double Happiness” Chinese food delivery girls. Each day they load up a “crappy donkey-van” and deliver Americanized (“bad”) Chinese food to homes throughout their Southern California neighborhood.
United in their desire to blossom into somebodies, the Wong girls fearlessly assert their intellect and sexuality even as they come of age under the care of a dominating, cleaver-wielding grandmother from Hong Kong. They transform themselves from food delivery girls into accomplished women, but along the way they wrestle with the influence and continuity of their Chinese heritage.
Marilyn Chin’s prose waxes and wanes between satire and metaphorical lyric, referencing classical Chinese tales and ghost stories that are at turns sensual, lurid, hilarious, shocking, and surreal.
“Wildly profane and funny riffs on folklore, chronicling the adventures of two very modern Chinese-American sisters.” – KIRKUS REVIEW
“The poet Marilyn Chin’s first novel is a nicely mischievous cacophony of ornery backchat: satirical, political and violent. Drawing on ancient Chinese lore and contemporary Americana.” – The Guardian
“In the telling, Chin expertly alternates between straight-forward, riot-grrrl-style narrative and gorgeously surreal allegory, imbuing the twins’ generic, suburban angst with enchanted Boddhisatvas and magnificent pigeons, who will forever search for Grandmother Wong in paradise.” – Union Tribune
Read a chapter or listen to Marilyn read an exerpt.
Marilyn reads Parable of the Cake.
Marilyn reads Monologue: Grandmother Wong’s New Year Blessings.