The Coffin Tree

Trade Paper – $17.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-5141-3
Publication Date
March 2003
Page Count
0 pages
Trim Size
5 1/2 x 8 1/2

The Coffin Tree

Wendy Law-Yone

Wendy Law-Yone opens her first novel with the phrase of a survivor, "Living things prefer to go on living." A young woman and her older half-brother are expelled from their home in Burma by a savage political coup. Sent to elusive safety in America, the motherless siblings find themselves engulfed by the indifference, hypocrisy, and cruelty of an American society unable to deal with difference. Her brother's death drives the unnamed narrator into the seclusion of a mental hospital, where memories of her childhood and the strength it ingrained in her are enough to heal her heart and return her to the outside world.

About the Author
Wendy Law-Yone was born in Mandalay, Burma, and raised in Rangoon. She is currently the David T. K. Wong Fellow at the University of East Anglia.
"It combines the exquisite palpability of dreams with an earthy sense of irony ... an uncanny talent for defining the boundaries of sanity and making madness palpable. . . . A virtuoso piece of writing." --New York Times Book Review
"[A] poignant new addition to an honored literary tradition...rang[ing] from de Tocqueville to...Sevan-Schreiver -- and outsider's reflections on America." -- San Francisco Chronicle
"The reader must move to exotic places, to Burma in the beginning, to New York squalor in the middle, to a mental ward for an affirmative finale. The reader must move almost without transitions but with bags of empathy, crammed full. Must move, will be moved." --Los Angeles Times

"Law-Yone writes with a...sense of incongruity...It is one of her many gifts, which...promise much for the future." -- The Nation