Harper Academic

Vessel

A Memoir

by Chongda Cai

On Sale: 07/06/2021

Price: $25.99

Vessel

Enlarge Book Cover

Vessel

A Memoir

by Chongda Cai

On Sale: 07/06/2021

Format:

Price: $25.99

About the Book

An unprecedented and heartfelt memoir that illuminates the lives of rural Chinese workers, offering a portrait of generational strife, family, love, and loss that crosses cultures and time.

Cai Chongda spent his childhood in a rural fishing village in Fujian province. When his father—a former communist gang leader turned gas station owner—has a stroke that partially paralyzes him, his responsibilities fall to Cai, his only son. 

Assuming his new role as head of the family, Cai toils alongside his mother and older sister to pay the medical bills that have become a part of a rapidly changing Chinese society. As Cai works his way through university and moves to Beijing, eventually becoming a director of GQ China, he finds his life increasingly at odds with the family he supports but has left behind.

Like The Glass Castle and Hillbilly Elegy, Vessel neither romanticizes nor condemns the people and circumstances that shaped a young man’s life, but instead offers a way forward, revealing how tradition can enrich modern life. 

Translated from the Chinese by Dylan Levi King

Critical Praise

"Chongda paints a tantalizing portrait of a changing China in his dazzling English-language debut. [Vessel] shines with the bright talent of an excellent storyteller." - Publishers Weekly

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063038004
  • ISBN 10: 0063038005
  • Imprint: HarperVia
  • On Sale: 07/06/2021
  • Trimsize: 5.000 in (w) x 8.000 in (h) x 0.000 in (d)
  • Pages: 304
  • List Price: $25.99
  • BISAC1 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
  • BISAC2 : FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Death, Grief, Bereavement
  • BISAC3 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / Asian & Asian American