Download The Fortunes Audiobook

The Fortunes Audiobook, by Peter Ho Davies Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Peter Ho Davies Narrator: James Chen Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2016 ISBN: 9781531824358
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A New York Times Editors' Choice
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016

“Davies writes with a rare emotional resonance and a deft sense of structure; it's hard not to be in awe of the way he's composed this complex, beautiful novel . . . Stunning.” —NPR

“Davies [is] a master storyteller.” —Entertainment Weekly

Sly, funny, intelligent, and artfully structured, The Fortunes recasts American history through the lives of Chinese Americans and reimagines the multigenerational novel through the fractures of immigrant family experience.

Inhabiting four lives—a railroad baron’s valet who unwittingly ignites an explosion in Chinese labor, Hollywood’s first Chinese movie star, a hate-crime victim whose death mobilizes Asian Americans, and a biracial writer visiting China for an adoption—this novel captures and capsizes over a century of our history, showing that even as family bonds are denied and broken, a community can survive—as much through love as blood.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Through these elegant, deeply embodied stories, Davies portrays the uneasy relationship between these people and their new country.”


  • “The Fortunes is powerful as a chronicle of perpetual frustration, as each new generation grows aware of the arbitrary line between margin and mainstream.”

    New Yorker

  • “Distills 150 years of Chinese-American history in his timely and eloquent new novel.”

  • “Vividly detailed novellas whose rich language and engaging characters not only bring history alive but also address contemporary issues of race and belonging with heartache, fire, and empathy.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Davies’ characters struggle to belong—not only to race or to history or to stories, but also simply to themselves.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A masterful novel about what it is to feel like an outsider in the place you call home. It is also the story of America, told through the eyes of her immigrants.”

    Bookseller (UK), Editor’s Choice

  • “A brilliant, absorbing masterpiece.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Rich rewards await readers searching for superbly illuminating historical fiction.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Davies’ nuanced contemplation of how America has affected the Chinese (and vice versa) forces the reader to confront what is both singular and similar about all cross-cultural transactions.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “James Chen delivers the characters’ personalities without falling into caricature. His success is especially evident in his respectful rendering of the Pidgin English used by Chinese immigrants at four significant time periods…Chen’s understated portrayals help listeners understand that, although circumstances have clearly changed since the mid-1800s, Chinese–American concerns, even in the twenty-first century, have remained unexpectedly constant.”


  • A BookPage Top Pick for September 2016
  • Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week
  • An Indie Next Recommendation for September 2016
  • An Entertainment Weekly “Must Read” for Fall 2016
  • An Elle Magazine Pick for September 2016
  • A Huffington Post Pick of 20 Best Books for September 2016
  • One of the BBC’s Best Books for September 2016

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About the Author

Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl, is on the faculty of the graduate program in creative writing at the University of Michigan. His debut collection, The Ugliest House in the World, won the John Llewellyn Rhys and PEN/Macmillan awards in Britain. His second collection, Equal Love, was a New York Times Notable Book and finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. In 2003, he was named among the “Best of Young British Novelists” by Granta. The son of a Welsh father and Chinese mother, he was raised in England and spent his summers in Wales.

About the Narrator

James Chen is an actor and AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator. He has a recurring role on the Law & Order SVU and has appeared in such films as We Need to Talk about Kevin and Mr. Popper’s Penguins. He received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and his MFA from Yale Drama. He is also a member of Descendant Films.