Ghost Forest: A Novel (Hardcover)
Ghost Forest is the collision of three generations of grief told in a collection of jokes, secrets, and regrets as one woman faces the loss of the "astronaut" father she may never have really known. A sharp-edged little candy that can be crunched through in an afternoon but begs to be savored, Fung's story grew so vivid that, by the end, l had to double-check that "a novel" was still printed on the cover. Each lyrical vignette chips another sparkling facet into this kaleidoscopic view of a family fractured across the Hong Kong diaspora but bound by shaky, unbreakable love. -Lara
This “powerful” (BuzzFeed) debut about love, grief, and family welcomes you into its pages and invites you to linger, staying with you long after you’ve closed its covers.
“I am madly in love with this book, a kaleidoscopic wonder.”—T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls
How do you grieve, if your family doesn’t talk about feelings?
This is the question the unnamed protagonist of GhostForest considers after her father dies. One of the many Hong Kong “astronaut” fathers, he stays there to work, while the rest of the family immigrated to Canada before the 1997 Handover, when the British returned sovereignty over Hong Kong to China.
As she revisits memories of her father through the years, she struggles with unresolved questions and misunderstandings. Turning to her mother and grandmother for answers, she discovers her own life refracted brightly in theirs.
Buoyant and heartbreaking, Ghost Forest is a slim novel that envelops the reader in joy and sorrow. Fung writes with a poetic and haunting voice, layering detail and abstraction, weaving memory and oral history to paint a moving portrait of a Chinese-Canadian astronaut family.
“Ghost Forest is the tender/funny book we can all appreciate after a hellish year.”—Literary Hub
About the Author
Pik-Shuen Fung is a Canadian writer and artist living in New York City. She is the recipient of fellowships and residencies from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Kundiman, the Millay Colony, and Storyknife. Ghost Forest is her first book.
“Connected by a kind of dream logic . . . Ghost Forest is at times melancholy, but never regretful; deeply felt, but unencumbered. There is joy and tenderness in what’s missed, and Fung’s elegant storytelling accomplishes a lot with deceptively little.”—The New York Times Book Review
“This is the book I’m excited about. . . . It’s about grief but it’s . . . light as a feather, and it has to do with how it’s arranged on the page. It’s almost like reading poetry but it’s a novel. . . . The words are beautiful, the writing is gorgeous, but just the way the book is laid out feels extremely refreshing.”—Ann Patchett
“Ghost Forest is a debut certain to turn your heart. With a dexterity and style all her own, Pik-Shuen Fung renders the many voices that make up a family, as well as the mythologies we create for those we know, and those we wish we knew better. I am madly in love with this book, a kaleidoscopic wonder.”—T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls
“Here, silences speak. Brilliant and pitiless at first, Ghost Forest mutates in the reader’s hand, until it shimmers with grace and unexpected humor. A mercurial meditation on love and family.”—Padma Viswanathan, bestselling author of The Ever After of Ashwin Rao
“Made by an artist who angles her mirror to make room for the faces of others, Pik-Shuen Fung’s Ghost Forest resembles a xieyi painting, a place where white space and absence are as important as color and life. Inventive, funny, and devastating.”—Jennifer Tseng, award-winning author of Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness
“Like a Chinese ink painting, every line in Pik-Shuen Fung’s Ghost Forest is full of movement and spirit, revealing the resilient threads of matrilineal history and the inheritance of stories and silences. With humor, compassion, and clear-eyed prose, Fung reminds us that grief, memory, and history are never linear but always alive.”—K-Ming Chang, author of Bestiary
“This is a book to break your heart and then fill it to bursting again. What an exquisite, glorious debut.”—Catherine Chung, author of The Tenth Muse
“Fung’s commitment to this multifaceted take on grief shines through in the moments of lightheartedness and joy that rub shoulders with the novel’s heavier themes.”—Ayoung Kim interviews Pik-Shuen Fung for Cold Tea Collective
“[A] moving debut . . . Bracing fragments and poignant vignettes come together to make a stunning and evocative whole.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Seemingly spare yet undeniably dense with so much unsaid, Fung’s polyphonic first novel is a magnificent literary triumph.”—Booklist (starred review)