• The Unpassing

The Unpassing

The Unpassing

( from 2 reviews )
  • Author
    Chia Chia Lin
  • Publisher
    Farrar Straus And Giroux
  • Publication date
    07 May 2019

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Book Description

Finalist for the 2019 NBCC John Leonard Prize for Best First Book. Shortlisted for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize. One of Entertainment Weekly's 10 Best Debut Novels of 2019. Named one of the Best Books of 2019 by TIME, The Washington Post, and Esquire. A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice.

"A singularly vast and captivating novel . . . What makes Lin’s novel such an important book is the extent to which it probes America’s mythmaking about itself." --The New York Times Book Review

A searing debut novel that explores community, identity, and the myth of the American dream through an immigrant family in Alaska


In Chia-Chia Lin’s debut novel, The Unpassing, we meet a Taiwanese immigrant family of six struggling to make ends meet on the outskirts of Anchorage, Alaska. The father, hardworking but beaten down, is employed as a plumber and repairman, while the mother, a loving, strong-willed, and unpredictably emotional matriarch, holds the house together. When ten-year-old Gavin contracts meningitis at school, he falls into a deep, nearly fatal coma. He wakes up a week later to learn that his little sister Ruby was infected, too. She did not survive.

Routine takes over for the grieving family: the siblings care for each other as they befriend a neighboring family and explore the woods; distance grows between the parents as they deal with their loss separately. But things spiral when the father, increasingly guilt ridden after Ruby’s death, is sued for not properly installing a septic tank, which results in grave harm to a little boy. In the ensuing chaos, what really happened to Ruby finally emerges.

With flowing prose that evokes the terrifying beauty of the Alaskan wilderness, Lin explores the fallout after the loss of a child and the way in which a family is forced to grieve in a place that doesn’t yet feel like home. Emotionally raw and subtly suspenseful, The Unpassing is a deeply felt family saga that dismisses the American dream for a harsher, but ultimately more profound, reality.

Book Detail

  • Book Title

    The Unpassing

  • Author

    Chia Chia Lin

  • Date Published

    07 May 2019

  • Publisher

    Farrar Straus And Giroux

  • Pages

    288 pages

  • ISBN

    9780374719456

Book Reviews

  • User294785

    4.5 starsThanks to EUROBOOK and my winning this book, I was able to get an advanced look into Chia Chia Lin's newest book The Unpassing. Having been very much spooked by his The Unpassing, I was quite happy to once again enter the world of "spookdom" and read this story. Teenagers are quite impressionable. They often believe a lot of things and try to grab onto concepts and ideas that at times seems quite out of the norm. They often make ready partners, easily led, and make decisions that oftenti.

  • User392855

    A short but w lovely book for fans of both authors, but also a lot of insight into freedom of speach, creativity and the importance of libraries. Some words to take to heart, some words to live by, some words to get (more) liberated in the pursuit of artistic endeavours. Definitely a good thing to read. You don't know it yet, but it's likely you need this book.

  • User345211

    I'm pretty sure Chia Chia Lin books just exist to capture and devour your entire SOUL AND IMAGINATION. I just went on such a wild adventure omg, I feel actually drained. Like this duology has totally filled my creative well. I am heart eyes and my heart so so full and !!!! my emotions are just !!! which is exactly how a professionally reviewer would summarise a book.

  • User95812

    I know a lot of us were expecting The Unpassing to be good, but I have to say, this book actually exceeded my expectations. I have a lump in my throat and I can't stop thinking about it. I usually spend time making detailed notes while reading a book but, at one point, I opened Notes on my computer just to type "oh fucking god, this is so good".

  • User192812

    DANG THIS BOOK IS GOOD. Full review coming, just need to collect my thoughts. I LOVED this - absolutely worth adding to your summer TBR!!.

  • Mary

    not going to lie, i'm feeling PRETTY special for receiving an advance copy of this(okay yes i haven't read The Unpassing but still)

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