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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

A Washington Post Notable Book of the Year

Named a Best Book of 2020 by NPR

Longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize

Finalist for the 2020 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

National best seller

A National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" Honoree

A GOOP Book Club Pick

"A fully immersive epic drama packed with narrative riches and exquisitely crafted prose." (San Francisco Chronicle)

"Belongs on a shelf all of its own." (NPR)

"Outstanding." (The Washington Post)

"Arresting, beautiful." (The New York Times)

"Revolutionary... A visionary addition to American literature." (Star Tribune)

An electric debut novel set against the twilight of the American gold rush, two siblings are on the run in an unforgiving landscape - trying not just to survive but to find a home.

Ba dies in the night; Ma is already gone. Newly orphaned children of immigrants, Lucy and Sam are suddenly alone in a land that refutes their existence. Fleeing the threats of their Western mining town, they set off to bury their father in the only way that will set them free from their past. Along the way, they encounter giant buffalo bones, tiger paw prints, and the specters of a ravaged landscape as well as family secrets, sibling rivalry, and glimpses of a different kind of future.

Both epic and intimate, blending Chinese symbolism and reimagined history with fiercely original language and storytelling, How Much of These Hills Is Gold is a haunting adventure story, an unforgettable sibling story, and the announcement of a stunning new voice in literature. On a broad level, it explores race in an expanding country and the question of where immigrants are allowed to belong. But it’s about the memories that bind and divide families, and the yearning for home.

©2020 C Pam Zhang (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Sure to be the boldest debut of the year." (The Guardian)

"C Pam Zhang’s arresting, beautiful first novel is filled with myths of her own making as well as sorrows and joys." (The New York Times)

"A fully immersive epic drama packed with narrative riches and exquisitely crafted prose...Zhang captures not only the mesmeric beauty and storied history of America’s sacred landscape, but also the harsh sacrifices countless people were forced to make in hopes of laying claim to its bounty." (San Francisco Chronicle)

What listeners say about How Much of These Hills Is Gold

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Needs a different reader

This was a good enough telling to hold my attention in spite of the readers performance. I regret having the inability to return it as I would have preferred to read myself. The male reader was much preferred. Female read like passages were thriller, leading up to suspense, not necessarily needed. Pass on the audio version and read it yourself.

3 people found this helpful

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Artistically written

Tragic and evocative writing style. The Wild West from a Chinese families point of view. I enjoyed the artistic style of writing, even if there was a lot of internal dialogue. Grass and gold and grass and gold and gold. I would definitely read this author again.

3 people found this helpful

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Incredible

This should be the front-runner for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction this year. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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Well-written, needs more story

Great premise, beautiful prose, but too interior for me -- I kept waiting for something to happen.

1 person found this helpful

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Ethereal & Miandering

Poetically beautiful but without a clear structure. Gives the feel and outline of a great story but left me wanting. Wish there was more substance to flesh out the story and let me into the characters arc... Ethereal and wandering but ultimately unresolved.

1 person found this helpful

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An author who draws pictures with words

Beautifully written a most excellent book
I enjoyed reading every minute of it
It left me iImpressed by this writer’s ability to speak so eloquently about the land
And the people who inhabited it As well as about the animals who lived there

1 person found this helpful

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not worth it

Narration was ok but has a gruesome storyline. I couldn't even finish it (a first for me with Audible).

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Wow

This story was beautifully narrated. Lucy and Sam came to life. There was so much history in this story. It broke my heart because this is the reality of U.S. history: murder, theft, lack of justice to so many people of color. This story also made me somewhat hopeful that in acknowledging this past we can do better in the present and future.

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Phenomenal Debut!

Really great story. Well told both readers did a great job. Can't wait for more from this author!