What The Zhang Boys Know has won the Library of Virginia Award in Fiction.
The Library of Virginia is pleased to announce the he winners of the 16th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards, sponsored by Dominion. Th e October 19 awards celebration was hosted by award -winning Virginia author David Baldacci. Awards categories were fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and literary lifetime achievement.
Clifford Gartstang (Korea 1976-7) won for What the Zhang Boys Know which the judges felt was a seamless tale of an immigrant seeking a new wife and mother for his sons. The novel is an enticing collection of interconnected stories about characters who live in a condominium in Washington, D.C.
What the Zhang Boys Know, a novel in stories: Set in a condominium building on the edge of Chinatown in Washington, D.C., these stories present the struggle of Zhang Feng-qi, originally from Shanghai, to find a new mother for his sons following the death of his American wife. Along the way, the stories spotlight Zhang’s neighbors as they seek to fill gaps in their own lives. And then there are the Zhang boys, who firmly believe that their mother is coming back. What is it that they know?
Clifford Garstang began writing fiction after a career in international law with one of the world’s largest law firms and with the World Bank in Washington, D.C. His first book, the story collection In an Uncharted Country (2009), has been described as “impeccably written, sumptuously imagined, and completely enchanting,” and his second book, the novel in stories What the Zhang Boys Know (2012), was called “a wonderful and haunting book.” His work has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Blackbird, Cream City Review, Tampa Review, and elsewhere, and has received Distinguished Mention in the Best American Series. He was a 2010 Walter E. Dakin Fellow at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. In addition to degrees in philosophy, English, law, and public administration, he holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. He is the co-founder and editor of Prime Number Magazine and currently lives near Staunton, Virginia.