Whether it's an immigrant woman who loves to watch American action movies or a young American-born woman who joins a film crew in China, these stories are about Chinese Americans trying to make sense of their divided history and culture. As both the immigrant and the American-raised generations succumb to some deeply American impulses, notions of home and language and self get misplaced, repositioned, changed, and history and memory are reinvented by nostalgia, dreams, and desire.
Sara Chin lives and works in San Francisco.
"Alternating between short stories and even shorter glimpses of the world, Below the Line (City Lights) careens dangerously on the edge of breakdown: emotional, linguistic, familial, cultural. Her characters are imbued with the weird and lovely qualities of those living on this precipice." —Lawrence Chua
"Chin's themes are compelling, but her pace and language are less so—slow, unmelodious, more akin to script direction than to storytelling. Still, in page-long vignettes before each tale, this first-timer displays her true potential, evoking scenes in a sensitively visual language." —Kirkus Reviews
"Below the Line is a page-turner, a rich and satisfying collection. The language is lean and elegant, the humor sly, the characters poignant, quirky, and all-too human, moving with jet-set ease from East to West, and back again… Sara Chin is a smart, welcome new voice in contemporary fiction." —Jessica Hagedorn
“Sara Chin, with careful ear, takes the reader below the line, where guttural utterances like eh and nh matter, where sounds of immigrant life intrude on a muted screen filled with American signage and gesture.” —Karen Tei Yamashita
“Sara Chin writes with subtlety, wit, and feeling…Which one of us cannot identify in some way with the lonely exile's tragicomic struggle for survival and meaning, like the immigrant father who, having made it though bombings and political upheaval in China, gets frantically lost circling the Washington, D.C. Beltway loop? These wonderful stories express a luminous intelligence and are told with compassion.” —Elaine Kim