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Whitworth Welcomes Critically Acclaimed Fiction Writer Chia-Chia Lin

October 1, 2019
Whitworth University’s English department is pleased to host celebrated author Chia-Chia Lin for a reading of her debut novel, The Unpassing, at 6 p.m. on Oct. 2 in the Seeley G. Mudd Chapel.

The Unpassing (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2019) has been long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice.

The book details the anguish of a Taiwanese-immigrant family struggling to adapt to the Alaskan wilderness amid the recent death of their 4-year old child. It’s narrated by 10-year-old Gavin, who contracts meningitis and falls into a coma. When he awakens, he’s left to deal with the death of his younger sister who dies from the same disease.

"A singularly vast and captivating novel... What makes Lin’s novel such an important book is the extent to which it probes America’s mythmaking about itself," wrote Brian Haman for The New York Times. Nathan Deuel of The Los Angeles Times wrote, “A grim, breathtakingly beautiful debut novel… Lin excels when she gets small, with finely observed renderings of the family’s surroundings… The way this chilling, captivating book concludes will delight as much as it challenges, offering as it does a blend of escape, tragedy, triumph, loss and what we’ve expected all along.”

Linn resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a graduate of Harvard and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has been writing short stories for two decades.

The event is free and open to the public.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Jake Andrews, assistant professor of English, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3328 or

Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or