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Celeste Ng

Our Missing Hearts

Our Missing Hearts

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One of The Millions’ Most-Anticipated Books of 2022 “As lyrical as it is chilling; as astonishing as it is empathic; Our Missing Hearts arguably achieves literary perfection.” —Booklist (starred review) From the number one bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere; a deeply suspenseful and heartrending novel about the unbreakable love between a mother and child in a society consumed by fear Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father; a former linguist who now shelves books in a university library. Bird knows to not ask too many questions; stand out too much; or stray too far. For a decade; their lives have been governed by laws written to preserve “American culture” in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity; the authorities are now allowed to relocate children of dissidents; especially those of Asian origin; and libraries have been forced to remove books seen as unpatriotic—including the work of Bird’s mother; Margaret; a Chinese American poet who left the family when he was nine years old. Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn’t know her work or what happened to her; and he knows he shouldn’t wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing; he is pulled into a quest to find her. His journey will take him back to the many folktales she poured into his head as a child; through the ranks of an underground network of librarians; into the lives of the children who have been taken; and finally to New York City; where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change. Our Missing Hearts is an old story made new; of the ways supposedly civilized communities can ignore the most searing injustice. It’s a story about the power—and limitations—of art to create change; the lessons and legacies we pass on to our children; and how any of us can survive a broken world with our hearts intact.


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