Book Reviews

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

Last Night at the Telegraph Club tells the story of seventeen-year-old Lily Hu, a Chinese American living in 1954 Chinatown. It is a fun read, but also an emotional narrative that explores the complexities of race, gender, and sexuality through the identity and relationships of young Lily. She grapples with family issues (her relationship with her mother and the threat of her father’s deportation) and personal ones (discovering her lesbianism and having to hide a relationship with her best friend Kathleen) as she grows up in an ever-changing city environment. Each character is developed in such a compelling and dynamic way, which is why this book is one of my favorite LGBTQ+ fictions.

Opening Line: “The Miss Chinatown contestants were clustered together behind a canvas screen near the stage.”

Favorite Line: “Perhaps one day she’d get used to the way it made her feel: dislocated and dazed, never quite certain if the other half of her would stay offstage as directed.”

Why I Like It: It is fun to read while still being a realistic representation of many issues that we should bear in mind today.

Read If You Like: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Asian American history, the Cold War period.

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