Troublemaker and Other Saints by Christina Chiu

By Lise Funderburg

March 26, 2001

The hand-over of Hong Kong to mainland China is a relatively minor event among the emotional cataclysms in this short-story debut. Chiu refracts classic old-vs.-new-world tensions through the prism of second-generation Chinese-American Gen-Xers, inspired more by Kurt Cobain than by Buddha. The resulting chasm between the Chinese Americans and their immigrant parents is filled with disappointments, with tales of anorexia and homophobia, and that stubborn reluctance by young and old to see each other as each wishes to be seen.