When her husband suddenly disappears, a young woman must uncover where he went—and who she might be without him—in this striking debut of immigration, identity, and marriage.
After another taxing day as the sole female employee at her New York City tech startup, Edwina comes home to find that her husband, Marlin, has packed up a suitcase and left. The only question now is why.
As Edwina searches the city for traces of her husband, she simultaneously sifts through memories of their relationship, hoping to discover the moment when something went wrong. All the while, a coworker is making increasingly uncomfortable advances toward her. And she can’t hide the truth about Marlin’s disappearance from her overbearing, eccentric mother for much longer. Soon Edwina will have to decide how much she is willing to sacrifice in order to stay in her marriage and in America.
Poignant and darkly funny, Edge Case is a searing meditation on intimacy, estrangement, and the fractured nature of identity. In this moving debut, YZ Chin explores the imperfect yet enduring relationships we hold to country and family.
“On the surface, YZ Chin’s debut novel is about a woman’s search for her missing husband, but her quest also speaks to so much else: what it means to belong to a new country and disentangle yourself from another, how relationships and memory change with time, what it means to be alone. Funny, smart and questioning, Edge Case is a glorious read.”
Tash Aw, author of We, the Survivors
“YZ Chin’s eerie and brilliant novel looks closely and tenderly at the margins of life for answers to pressing questions of love and self. Where do I belong? Who am I in the face of loss? What am I willing to do for my precarious place in this world? The result is a totally engaging and emotionally resonant story of one woman’s alienation, ambivalence, defiance, and humor in the face of turmoil—I won’t soon forget it and can’t wait to read what Chin writes next.”
Alexandra Chang, author of Days of Distraction
“Edge Case is a beautifully subtle novel about precarity and dislocation. YZ Chin writes with wisdom, precision and humor, tracing the routes by which we become strangers to each other and ourselves.”
Katie Kitamura, author of Intimacies
“A quirky story of loss and limbo, Edge Case immerses us in the worries, hopes, and absurdities of life on a work visa in America. As a woman’s marriage disintegrates, YZ Chin examines her complicated, ambivalent quest for American citizenship and lays bare her indelible feelings of foreignness and unbelonging. This is a timely, intimate novel unlike any I've read.”
Chia-Chia Lin, author of The Unpassing
“The great tension of YZ Chin’s Edge Case is that it’s always pushing in two directions at once. It’s a domestic mystery wrapped with the international pressures of immigration. It features a narrator whose interior informs her surroundings (or worries that it’s happening the other way around). Even the engineering lingo that populates its characters everyday vocabulary reveal double meanings, in moments of irony, humor, or both. With Edge Case, Chin has written a wonderful debut that excavates how the U.S. oppresses its white-collar migrants, offering them stability that is dependent on marriage and the workplace, but rendered it in an intimate, human story that I flew through in two days.”
Kevin Nguyen, author of New Waves