How Much of These Hills Is Gold: A Novel (Hardcover)
Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
"Likely to be the debut novel of the year." – San Francisco Chronicle
Named one of the most anticipated books of 2020 by The Millions, The Week, Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Electric Lit, Vogue.com, Medium, Paste Magazine, and more.
An electric debut novel set against the twilight of the American gold rush, two siblings are on the run in an unforgiving landscape—trying not just to survive but to find a home.
Ba dies in the night; Ma is already gone. Newly orphaned children of immigrants, Lucy and Sam are suddenly alone in a land that refutes their existence. Fleeing the threats of their western mining town, they set off to bury their father in the only way that will set them free from their past. Along the way, they encounter giant buffalo bones, tiger paw prints, and the specters of a ravaged landscape as well as family secrets, sibling rivalry, and glimpses of a different kind of future.
Both epic and intimate, blending Chinese symbolism and re-imagined history with fiercely original language and storytelling, How Much of These Hills Is Gold is a haunting adventure story, an unforgettable sibling story, and the announcement of a stunning new voice in literature. On a broad level, it explores race in an expanding country and the question of where immigrants are allowed to belong. But page by page, it's about the memories that bind and divide families, and the yearning for home.
About the Author
Born in Beijing but mostly an artifact of the United States, C Pam Zhang has lived in thirteen cities across four countries and is still looking for home. She's been awarded support from Tin House, Bread Loaf, Aspen Words and elsewhere, and currently lives in San Francisco.
Praise for How Much of These Hills Is Gold:
"If there ever was a time to throw yourself headfirst into the thoroughly engrossing saga that is C Pam Zhang’s debut novel, this is it…a fully immersive epic drama packed with narrative riches and exquisitely crafted prose…Zhang captures not only the mesmeric beauty and storied history of America’s sacred landscape, but also the harsh sacrifices countless people were forced to make in hopes of laying claim to its bounty."—San Francisco Chronicle
“Transporting...a triumph.” —The Washington Post
“Revolutionary…beautiful and brutal, Zhang’s debut is a stunner…HOW MUCH OF THESE HILLS IS GOLD is a visionary addition to American literature.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"One of the year's most anticipated debut novels... a story that weaves together race, identity, tradition, and the meaning of family." -- Vogue
"Sure to be the boldest debut of the year.... it is refreshing to discover a new author of such grand scale, singular focus and blistering vision." -- The Guardian
“As she depicts their journey, Zhang prompts the reader to think about whose stories are told from this period of American history—fictional or not—and adds her urgent voice to the genre.”—Time
"This moving tale of family, gold, and freedom rings with a truth that defies rosy preconceptions. The description of human and environmental degradation is balanced by shining characters who persevere greatly. Highly recommended." —Library Journal, STARRED
"[An] extraordinary debut. . . Gorgeously written and fearlessly imagined, Zhang’s awe-inspiring novel introduces two indelible characters whose odyssey is as good as the gold they seek."—Publishers Weekly, STARRED
"The journey of these two children—and the backstories of their parents—force us to confront just how white the history we've been taught is…Zhang asks readers to acknowledge a legacy we have been taught to ignore by creating a new and spellbinding mythology of her own. Aesthetically arresting and a vital contribution to America's conversation about itself.”— Kirkus Reviews, STARRED
“Daringly original, How Much of These Hills Is Gold is gritty and frequently gruesome, yet at times magical and ethereal, incorporating tiger paw prints and a buffalo sighting, along with a fog-filled view of San Francisco and the wild ocean beyond. Zhang’s laser-sharp reexamination of America’s myth-laden past is likely to help bring clarity to many issues that continue to challenge us all.”—BookPage, STARRED
"Zhang’s debut novel is a smart, beautiful, and intimate legend…HOW MUCH OF THESE HILLS IS GOLD ambitiously examines the nation’s long neglected racialized past and, more importantly, brings those individuals to life again on the page, with their desire and anger, longing and frustration." —The Millions
"C Pam Zhang's debut is ferocious, dark and gleaming, a book erupting out of the interstices between myth and dream, between longing and belonging. How Much of These Hills Is Gold tells us that stories--like people, like the rough and stunning landscape of California itself--are constantly in the process of being made, broken, and finally remade into something tender and new." —Lauren Groff, New York Times-bestselling author of Fates and Furies
"A haunting, riveting and truly remarkable debut. Zhang writes with the clear-eyed lucidity of ancient myth-makers whose eyes are attuned to the vicissitudes of nature and humanity."—Chigozie Obioma, author of Booker Prize finalist An Orchestra of Minorities
"This exhilarating novel unweaves the myths of the American West and offers in their place a gorgeous, broken, soulful, feral song of family and yearning, origin and earth. C Pam Zhang is a brilliant, fearless writer. This book is a wonder." —Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
"A truly gifted writer." —Sebastian Barry, author of The Secret Scripture
"A ravishingly written revisionist story of the making of the West, C Pam Zhang’s debut is pure gold."—Emma Donoghue, author of Room
"How Much of These Hills is a miracle, as timely as it is timeless, propulsive but also wonderfully meditative, a ferocious, tender epic about a vulnerable immigrant family trying to survive the American Gold Rush. I read it in one night and know I'll revisit it soon: I envy you your first read of this book."—R.O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries
"The writing here is intuitive, chewy, wonderful; the plot is devastating and the talent is dazzling. Zhang is a blazing writer."—Daisy Johnson, author of Everything Under