What Makes a Good Chinese Father? In a New Novel, It’s Complicated.

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By Lysley Tenorio

By Yang Huang

Early in Yang Huang’s new novel, “My Good Son,” we see a middle-aged tailor, Mr. Cai, working in his shop. “All his planning, cutting and sewing took final shape,” Huang writes. “In the end the garment itself made sense.” For Mr. Cai, it’s a rare moment of pride, a recognition that there is value, even contentment, in a hard day’s work. But the rest of the time, he sees his working-class life as a cautionary tale for his aimless 22-year-old son, Feng. Determined to save him from a life of tailoring, Mr. Cai makes it his mission to send Feng to a university in the United States. All Mr. Cai needs is an American willing to sponsor a student visa for Feng.

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