How much of these hills is gold

  • C Pam Zhang
  • Literature

With a gun in their hands and their father’s body on horseback, Chinese orphans Lucy and Sam are on the run across the prairie. It’s a ruthless land, littered with bison bones and addicted to the gold rush. The siblings want to bury their father according to Chinese ritual – with two silver dollars on their eyes. Only in this way can their father “find his way home. But where in this strange world is home for Lucy and Sam, which seems as unattainable as the promised gold in the hills?

Americans originating from China played an enormous role in the settlement of the American West – whether they were immigrants or already born in the United States. Far too rarely has this theme appeared in literature.

Now, with wild linguistic magic, C Pam Zhang, daughter of Chinese immigrants to America, tells in her debut novel of the longing to arrive – in a place and in an identity that defies the boundaries of origin and gender.

Nominated for the Booker Prize, How Much of These Hills Is Gold was among Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2020 and was described by the Oberserver as “The Boldest Debut of the Year.”

The event will take place at the DAI Heidelberg and simultaneously online in the free dai HOME Livestream on our YouTube channel. Click here to go directly to the livestream.

Foto: Gioia Zloczower

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