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We Two Alone

Written by Jack Wang

Published June 09, 2020 | ISBN 9781487007461
FICTION / Short Stories

Cover of We Two Alone

Regular price $19.95 CAD

296 pages | 8 in × 5.25 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

We Two Alone

Jack Wang

Set on five continents and spanning nearly a century, We Two Alone traces the long arc and evolution of the Chinese immigrant experience. A young laundry boy risks his life to play organized hockey in Canada in the 1920s. A Canadian couple gets caught in the outbreak of violence in Shanghai during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Consul-General of China attempts to save lives following Kristallnacht in Vienna. A family struggles to buy a home in post-colonial South Africa, during the rise of apartheid. An actor in New York struggles to keep his career alive while yearning to reconcile with his estranged wife. From the vulnerable and disenfranchised to the educated and elite, the characters in this extraordinary collection embody the diversity of the diaspora at key moments in history and in contemporary times. Jack Wang has crafted deeply affecting stories that not only subvert expectations but contend with mortality and delicately draw out the intimacies and failings of love.

About the Author

Jack Wang

JACK WANG received a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto, an M.F.A. from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in English with an emphasis in creative writing from Florida State University. In 2014–15, he held the David T. K. Wong Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Stories in his debut collection, We Two Alone, have been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and longlisted for the Journey Prize, and have appeared in PRISM International, the Malahat Review, the New Quarterly, the Humber Literary Review, and Joyland. Originally from Vancouver, Jack Wang is an associate professor in the Department of Writing at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, where he lives with his wife, novelist Angelina Mirabella, and their two daughters.

Awards and Praise


“A brilliant and ambitious vision of a hundred years of solitude: the Chinese diaspora navigated with courage, cleverness, and grace. Wang does this by following not a single family over generations but a dynamic cast of unforgettable characters as they scatter across the past century and across the globe, to Vancouver, Vienna, London, New York. For some, it’s a lonely journey; as Frank O’Connor said, in the best short stories we find ‘an intense awareness of human loneliness.’ But these characters cross continents and oceans to free themselves from history and from their own ‘tiny flames,’ seeking peace, work, adventure, fame, and, above all, love. This is a delicately wrought and deeply moving book from an exceptional new voice.” — Eleanor Henderson, author of The Twelve-Mile Straight and Ten Thousand Saints


“Jack Wang’s ‘The Nature of Things’ pushes the limits of the short story by spanning generations and continents. The tale of two Chinese-Canadian lovers who travel to Shanghai and find themselves caught in the Second Sino-Japanese War is so epic in scope that it reads almost like a mini-novel. Wang employs rich imagery, lyrical language, and a wistful tone to evoke a tumultuous time and place in history.” — 2017 Journey Prize Anthology Judges Kevin Hardcastle, Grace O’Connell, and Ayelet Tsabari