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Reading Questions: Number One Chinese Restaurant

Posted 25th Sep 2019

Out now in paperback is our Women’s Prize longlisted debut from Lillian Li, Number One Chinese Restaurant.

This deliciously detailed and richly layered novel explores the world of the bustling Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland. Mixing and mingling, the lives of the staff are embroiled in family feuds, shady deals and complicated romances.

Hilarious, sensual and as fast-paced as the restaurant itself, this novel makes for the perfect book club read – so we’ve included some starter questions in the book. Check out a few of them below…

🍚 “I don’t know my own family, and I’ve lived and worked with them my entire life,” Jimmy says to Janine. How can proximity to so many people – the restaurant family that Jimmy has more or less chosen and the family he was born into – still cause them to remain strangers in some ways? Are there people in your own life who you see on a daily basis but still remain strangers to you?

🥡 As parents, Nan, Johnny, and Feng Fei must make difficult decisions for the futures of their children. How do the decisions parents make help or hurt their children in this novel? In what ways does this novel help you understand and analyze your own family dynamics and/or the legacy of culture and tradition in your life?

🥠 Like the staff within every city’s or town’s favourite restaurant, the Duck House family is a group of people who work twelve hours a day, six days a week, closer to each other than to the families they leave at home. Did reading this novel change your perspective on the staff in any restaurant or business where you have been a customer?

Would you like to win copies for your book club? We are giving away one set of books for one lucky reading group.

To enter, simply drop a line to Elise at elise@pushkinpress.com with your name and how many people are in your group!