BICH MINH NGUYEN (who goes by Beth) teaches literature and creative writing in the Bay Area, where she lives with her husband and their two children.
A powerful and wholly original American saga.” San Francisco Chronicle
Bich Minh Nguyen’s previous booksthe acclaimed memoir Stealing Buddha’s Dinner and the American Book Awardwinning novel Short Girlsestablished her talents as a writer of keen cultural observation. In Pioneer Girl, Nguyen entwines the Asian American experience with the escapist pleasures of literature, in a dazzling mystery about the origins of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classic Little House on the Prairie.
Lee Lien has long dodged her Vietnamese family’s rigid expectations by immersing herself in books. But now, jobless with a PhD in literature, she is back at home, working in her family’s restaurant under her mother’s hypercritical gazeuntil an heirloom from their past sends Lee on a search for clues that may lead back to Wilder herself, transforming strangers’ lives as well as her own.