No. 1 Chinese Restaurant, the debut novel from Lillian Li, tells the story of a neighborhood institution and the many generations whose lives are entwined there. The Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland, is not just a beloved neighborhood restaurant; it is its own world, inhabited by waiters and kitchen staff who have been fighting, loving, and aging within its walls for decades. But when the delicate balance is disrupted, the orbit of this tight-knit immigrant community is subjected to new pressures and realities.
Li joins us to discuss her book and the importance of neighborhood institutions in community and culture. Whether in a neighborhood like Rockville or the Lower East Side, people, especially immigrants, use public places as their public forums, safe havens, and home bases.
Lillian Li’s work has been published in the New York Times, Granta, Guernica, Glimmer Train, Bon Appetit, and Jezebel. Originally from the D.C. metro area, she lives in Ann Arbor.
Weike Wang is the author of CHEMISTRY and her work has appeared in Glimmer Train and The New Yorker, among other publications. She is the recipient of the 2018 Pen Hemingway, a Whiting award and a National Book Foundation 5 under 35. She currently lives in New York City.
$10 for adults and seniors. Free with the purchase of $17 book, available before event begins.
Tickets are available online before the event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/books-below-canal-no-1-chinese-restaurant-tickets-61246863016