"Beijing Payback" By Daniel Nieh
Note: This is an encore edition of our program. The original episode aired in June 2020.
Beijing Payback, a debut thriller, was named one of 5 books not to miss by USA Today and garnered favorable reviews by NPR, the New York Times, the LA Review of Books, and others. The story takes place in Southern California and China. A Chinese American college basketball player named Victor Li learns that his father was murdered — and that perhaps his father was not quite the person he was thought to be.
It is a thriller with glitzy nightclubs and strip-mall massage parlors -- the underground lair of a Chinese gang kingpin. But the thrilling plot in enriched by elements of the father-son relationship, the experience of immigrants in a new land, never completely being able to shed the old, and a journey of discovery and change for the son.
Daniel Nieh is a Chinese-English translator and interpretor whose clients include corporations, governments and arts organizations. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and received an MA in Chinese literature from the School of Oriental and African studies, University of London. Daniel lives in Portland, Oregon and his first novel, Beijing Payback, was published in 2019.