Soho Crime Releases GHOST MONTH by Ed Lin Today
It's Ghost Month (or August) in Taiwan-a time to commemorate the dead: burn incense, visit shrines, honor ancestors, and avoid bodies of water-but all Jing-nan can think about is how he ended up here, a dumpling vendor in Taipei's night market. He rues the day five years ago when he left UCLA to return home to his dying father in Taipei and tend to the family business. After his father's death, he renamed the stand "Unknown Pleasures" (after the Joy Division album) and settled into a life he never wanted.
Among Jing-nan's many regrets, his estrangement from high school girlfriend and longtime confident Julia, also Taiwanese, looms largest. No doubt she remained in NYU's honor program and has since gone on to bigger, better things-the things he'd always imagined for himself.
So it comes as a complete shock when he learns that Julia has been found scantily clad and shot dead on the side of a Taipei highway. She had been selling betel nuts, a frowned-upon stimulant that is chewed and spit, to passing truck drivers. Working as a "Betel nut beauty" is considered one (small) step above prostitution, and Jing-nan has no idea how she could've ended up doing that kind of work, much less dead. She was too smart. Too talented. Too in America, and a college graduate for all he knew.
What follows is a very funny, sometimes grim, and often tender exploration of a fascinating and rarely documented city. Jing-nan is the perfect guide, a charming everyman hero with the perfect mix of Western "cool" and Taiwanese street smarts. But do be warned: by the time you finish this book, you'll be at a restaurant slurping noodles within two, three days tops. About the Author Ed Lin is a journalist by training and an all-around stand-up kinda guy. He's the author of several books: Waylaid, his literary debut, and his Robert Chow crime series, set in 1970s Manhattan Chinatown: This Is a Bust, Snakes Can't Run, and One Red Bastard. Lin, who is of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards. Lin lives in New York with his wife, actress Cindy Cheung.