Debut Novels by Pik-Shuen Fung, Rahul Raina and Alex McElroy

By Naomi Skwarna

GHOST FOREST
By Pik-Shuen Fung
257 pp. One World. $26.

In Fung’s quietly moving “Ghost Forest,” the author takes a choral approach to her unnamed narrator’s family history, after her largely absent father’s protracted illness and death. The young woman’s family immigrated to Vancouver in the 1990s, but her dad stayed back in Hong Kong to keep his manufacturing job, visiting them only sporadically. “Astronaut family,” she explains: “It’s a term invented by the Hong Kong mass media. A family with an astronaut father — flying here, flying there.” The narrator learns early in life to seek her father in the spaces he vacates — like in the smell of his pajamas, left behind after one of his brief trips to Canada.

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