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Carolyn Huynh Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Fortunes of Jaded Women (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Carolyn Huynh
Carolyn Huynh grew up in Orange County, California, but didn’t appreciate the weather nearly enough. She is the youngest daughter of Vietnamese refugees, her writing focuses on her mom’s superstitions, tall tales, the diaspora, and memory (both imaginary and real).

Carolyn especially loves stories all about messy Asian women that never learn from their mistakes.

She has an MS in human centered design from the University of Washington and a BA in journalism from Seattle University. She’s also an MFA dropout.

Carolyn’s nonfiction work has appeared in the International Examiner and diaCRITICS, as well as other places.

After living up and down the West Coast, she lives in Los Angeles, California with her dog and rabbit. She still doesn’t really appreciate the nice weather nearly enough.

When Carolyn’s not busy writing, she daydreams about having iced coffee on a rooftop in Saigon.

She started writing “Fortunes” five or six years before it got published. It began as a short story before it ballooned into a full collection of short stories. An editor looked at it, and rejected it at first because she wanted to see it as more of a full length novel, giving Carolyn a lot of notes on the book for her to revise it and resubmit it. So for two months, she blacked out and worked on turning it into a full length novel, taking all of the notes she was given on it to heart.

She finds that Vietnamese moms are unintentionally funny, especially their mannerisms. And her own mom is unintentionally funny to her, telling her that wearing flip flops will give you cancer, and how worried she is about doing taxes, despite her family being middle class for as long as Carolyn can remember.

The epilogue of the novel is one of her favorite things that she has ever written. She didn’t know how she’d end it exactly, but the final sentence just came out of her one night, and she wound up crying a lot because of how perfect it came out. If she became a mom, she would raise them just a little bit better since she wouldn’t have that same generational trauma haunting her that haunted previous generations, and it was exactly how she wanted to end the novel.

Carolyn describes the book being for readers that love reading about messy women that never learn from their mistakes. The novel features more than 14 Vietnamese women that are each trying to find themselves as they try to navigate complex family dynamics, and their love lives are even messier than they are.

“The Fortunes of Jaded Women” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2022. Celebrating a family of estranged Vietnamese women that experience mishaps and the unexpected joy after a psychic makes this stunning prediction about their lives.

Everybody in Orange County’s Little Saigon knew that the Duong sisters were cursed.

It began with their ancestor Oanh who dared to leave her husband for true love with a Cambodian man. So this fearsome Vietnamese witch (who was also Oanh’s vengeful mom) cursed Oanh and her descendants so that they’d never find love happiness, and the Duong women would have daughters, never have sons.

Mai Nguyen, Oanh’s current descendant, knows this curse full well. She is divorced, and after one explosive disagreement a decade back, she is estranged from her younger sisters, Khuyen Lam (the youngest who swears she only runs humble nail salons and coffee shops, not the underworld of Little Saigon) and Minh Pham (the mediator and the middle child). Even though Mai’s three adult daughters: Thao, Priscilla, and Thuy, are successful in their careers, (with one of them being John Cho’s dermatologist!), the same cannot be said for their love life. Mai’s convinced they may drive her right to an early grave.

They have a lot in common, from a passion for knockoff Louis Vuitton bags and real jade to this distinct inability to revere any of their elders nearly as much as they should.

She is desperate for guidance, and consults Auntie Hua, her trusted psychic in Hawaii, who delivers this unexpected prediction: this year, her family’s going to witness a funeral, a marriage, and the birth of a son. This prophecy is going to reunite estranged aunts, moms, daughters, and cousins for better or worse.

A multi narrative novel that’s brimming with candor and levity, this is a story of meddling, celebrating, mourning, and healing together as a family. It shows how Vietnamese women emerge victorious, even if the world might be against them.

A Good Morning America Book Club Pick.

Written with crackling humor and a shrewd, intimate comprehension of Vietnamese American family life, the book’s full of tart, broad comedy and some farcical setups. However first-time novelist Carolyn also uses her gift for humor as a tool to tell a unique story about assimilation and exile, highlighting the perils of attempting to bend newer generations to ancient traditions and the difficulty of reconciling culture with the messy truths of modern American life.

This novel is smart, sharp, and so gloriously extra, and pays homage to the counterfeit Louis Vuitton queens of the Vietnamese diaspora and West Coast witches everywhere. Readers laughed out loud at the familiar stubbornness, the low and high stakes cutthroatedness and lovable daughters and mothers. It’s hilarious, clever, and deliciously dramatic, and Carolyn weaves a multigenerational, tangled tale between stubborn and fierce Vietnamese moms and their estranged daughters which is equally heartfelt and wild.

It beautifully captures just how far moms would go in order to create a better life for their daughters and reconnect with them once their efforts go awry. This one’s the real deal, unlike their fake designer purses. Readers also enjoyed seeing how the different generations differed from one another. And with each chapter in each of the women’s perspectives, you get to see the different lives of each family with their own unique approach to life, relationships, and love.

Fans of the book found themselves laughing, crying, and felt everything that these women did, finding this to be a book that brought such joy to their life.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Carolyn Huynh

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