The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong, by Leland Cheuk

The Pongs are an American immigrant family that has seen it all. They helped build the transcontinental railroads of the Victorian Age. They were mistakenly interned with Japanese-Americans during World War II. They may even have co-invented the landmark video game that bears the family's last name. But despite all they've endured, each new generation's patriarch has had one thing in common: a penchant for degeneracy. Sulliver Pong was supposed to be the exception. Married and living in Copenhagen, he was supposed to have escaped his toxic hometown of Bordirtoun; and most importantly, its mayor, his father Saul. When Saul visits unannounced, he begins to draw his son back into his corrupt world of city politics and redevelopment schemes. Yoked to his feelings of guilt for his abused mother and his lust for a now-married adolescent crush, book-smart but life-dumb Sulliver finds himself running for mayor against his father--a decision that will carry hilarious and unfortunate consequences for all involved. A laugh-out-loud black comedy about a dysfunctional family that has endured almost every major injustice in Asian-American history, but can't endure each other, Leland Cheuk's irreverent debut is perfect for existing fans of Jonathan Franzen or the Coen Brothers.

"Equal parts laugh-out-loud satire and dysfunctional family comedy, Leland Cheuk's The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong brims with Vonnegut-flavored humor and Delillo-esque commentary as it sends up Asian-American struggles and father-son rivalries. This is the hilarious and assured debut of a wise and wacky new talent." --Laurie Foos, author of The Blue Girl and Ex Utero

"As sneakily addictive as a game of Pong (which was named, we're told, after the narrator's dad), this zany zip-line of a novel takes the piss out of the Asian-American 'good immigrant' story. Full of charming antiheroes making comically bad choices, the story dazzles us with its absurdity, which makes its eventual wisdom--about lineage, ethnicity, and the meaning of family--all the more wonderfully surprising." --Michael Lowenthal, author of The Paternity Test and Charity Girl

"An immigrant family's success or lack thereof after arriving in America is familiar. What is fresh [in this book] is that each generation of Pong men proves to be inept or evil. This is not a story of a fall from grace or redemption, but persistent, stupid malice. ...Leland Cheuk's madcap family novel is exciting not just as satire of the curdled American dream, but as a major touchstone of a uniquely Asian-American voice." --Heavy Feather Review

"[A] fast-paced and detail-laden read about a family still struggling to make a positive impact on the world. Painfully dark but darkly humorous, The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong is a dysfunctional tale about one man's fight to conquer his personal demons and pursue his own version of the American Dream." --Small Press Reviews

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Cover image: Coon Lam

ISBN: 978-1-939987-37-2 | Barcode | QR code | Press release

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