“Serenely stirring stories….Chau’s characters, in portraits that radiate dignity and depth, seek freedom but find crushing loneliness.”—Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review
“Her stories are a powerful mix of tragedy and kindness, of miscommunications and all-too-painful empathy, which bound together are a resonating homage to many an immigrant.”–San Francisco Chronicle
“Angie Chau’s fine collection of stories does for immigrants from South Vietnam what Jhumpa Lahiri did for East Indians or Junot Diaz did for people from the Dominican Republic. She tells their truth.”—Dallas Morning News
“Heartbreaking tales of ordinary people lost between the extraordinary circumstances of history. Bitter and beautiful all at once.”—Sandra Cisneros
“We call it naturalization, but these bright, authentic, well-made stories both personalize and illuminate just how unnatural the first twenty years in America felt for thousands of Vietnamese families who fled to San Francisco to escape the Vietnam War. Angie Chau writes with humor, intensity and forgiveness about lives full of danger, insult, momentary reprieve, unending tenacity and undying hope.”—Pam Houston
Quiet As They Come is a beautiful and at times brutal portrait of a people caught between two cultures. Set in San Francisco from the 1980s to the present day, this debut collection explores the lives of several families of Vietnamese immigrants as they struggle to adjust to life in their new country, often haunted by the memories and customs of their old lives in Vietnam. While some are able to survive and assimilate, others are crushed by the promise of the “American Dream.” No matter their fate, you will never be able to forget the people you meet in this unforgettable collection.
Angie Chau was born in Vietnam and currently lives in Berkeley. She earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of California, Davis, where she was the fiction editor for The Greenbelt Review. She has been awarded a Hedgebrook Residency and a Macondo Foundation Fellowship. Her work has appeared in the Indiana Review, Santa Clara Review, Night Train and the anthology, Cheers to Muses. In 2009, she won the UC Davis Maurice Prize in Fiction.
Book Trailer for Quiet As They Come.