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The Undertaking of Lily Chen
by Danica Novgorodoff


Overview -

In "The Undertaking of Lily Chen," Deshi, a hapless young man living in northern China, is suddenly expelled from ordinary life when his brother dies in an accident. Holding Deshi responsible for his brother's death, his parents send him on a mission to acquire a corpse bride to accompany his brother into the afterlife, in accordance with an ancient Chinese tradition that has many modern adherents.  Read more...


 
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More About The Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff
 
 
 
Overview

In "The Undertaking of Lily Chen," Deshi, a hapless young man living in northern China, is suddenly expelled from ordinary life when his brother dies in an accident. Holding Deshi responsible for his brother's death, his parents send him on a mission to acquire a corpse bride to accompany his brother into the afterlife, in accordance with an ancient Chinese tradition that has many modern adherents. Eligible dead girls are in short supply, however. When Deshi falls into company with a young--and single--woman named Lily, he sees a solution to his problems. The only hitch is that willful, tart-tongued Lily is still very much alive. As Deshi and Lily adventure through a breathtaking mountain landscape, meeting a host of eccentric characters and dangerous adversaries along the way, Deshi just can't decide whether to kiss the girl or to kill her.

Danica Novgorodoff, author of "Slow Storm" and "Refresh, Refresh," brings her distinctive voice and gorgeous, moody watercolors to this wry, beautiful, and surprising literary graphic novel.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781596435865
  • ISBN-10: 1596435860
  • Publisher: First Second
  • Publish Date: March 2014
  • Page Count: 429


Related Categories

Books > Comics & Graphic Novels > Literary
Books > Comics & Graphic Novels > Contemporary Women

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-03-03
  • Reviewer: Staff

This vivid comic opens with a quote from the Economist describing the resurgence of “ghost marriages” in rural China, in which parents of dead men seek out the corpses of women so that their sons aren’t buried alone, sometimes even going as far as murder. After Deshi’s brother Wei is killed in a freak accident (an accident that their parents hold Deshi responsible for), he sets off to find a bride for Wei with the help of a corpse hunter. Striking out in graveyards and hospitals, Deshi eventually meets a woman named Lily Chen whom he resolves to kill, but his plans soon go awry. Humorous aspects of the story, including a motorcycle catching fire and a runaway donkey, don’t always fit in with the exploration of Deshi’s conflicted pursuit of Lily, both as a potential victim and as a potential wife. Novgordoff uses a flat visual style that gives the characters an iconic feeling as she captures the tensions between new and old traditions in Chinese society. Although the book is uneven, the story is striking and unusual overall. (Mar.)

 
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