上一篇 回創作列表 下一篇   字體:
Little Fires Everywhere
2021/05/17 17:09:08瀏覽572|回應0|推薦6


Celeste Ng was born in PittsburghPennsylvania.[2] Her parents moved from Hong Kong in the late 1960s.[2] Her father, who died in 2004, was a physicist at NASA in the John H. Glenn Research Center (formerly known as the NASA Lewis Research Center).[4] Her mother was a chemist who taught at Cleveland State University.[4]

When Ng was ten, she moved from Pittsburgh to Ohio[4] with her parents and sister.[7] She attended the schools in the Shaker Heights City School District, from Woodbury Elementary all the way up to Shaker Heights High School.[4] At Shaker Heights High School, Ng was involved with the student group on race relations for three years and a co-editor of the schools literary magazine, Semanteme.[4] She graduated from high school in 1998.

After graduating from high school, Ng studied English at Harvard University. She then attended graduate school at University of Michigan, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts in writing, now the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. At the University of Michigan, Ng won the Hopwood Award for her short story "What Passes Over"(r.2)

Ng received the Pushcart Prize in 2012 for her story "Girls, At Play".[9] Her fiction has appeared in One StoryTriQuarterly, and Subtropics. Her essays have appeared in Kenyon Review OnlineThe Millions, and elsewhere. Ng taught writing at the University of Michigan and at Grub Street in Boston.[10] Ng also was an editor of blogs at the website Fiction Writers Review for three years.[10]

Her debut novel, Everything I Never Told You: A Novel, is a literary thriller that focuses on an American family in 1970s Ohio.[11][12] The novel had four drafts and one revision before completion, which took 6 years. Working on it, Ng said she drew upon her own experiences of racism as well as her family and friends.[13] The book, which the Los Angeles Times called an "excellent first novel about family, love, and ambition," won Amazon’s book of the year award in 2014[2][14] and was a New York Times Notable Book of 2014.[15] It has been translated into 15 languages.[5]

Ngs second novel, Little Fires Everywhere, is set in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and follows two families, one a mother and daughter, that challenge the boundaries in the town.[7][13] The novel was developed into a 2020 Hulu miniseries of the same name starring and executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington; Ng also serves as one of the shows producers.

Ng lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and son.[4] While on a book tour for Everything I Never Told You, Ng said her favorite book when she was little was Harriet the Spy.[7] Her favorite book is now The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. (r.2)  

Celeste grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio, in a family of scientists. Celeste attended Harvard University and earned an MFA from the University of Michigan (now the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan), where she won the Hopwood Award. Her fiction and essays have appeared in One Story, TriQuarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, the Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere, and she is a recipient of the Pushcart Prize.(r.3)


Perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned--from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren--an enigmatic artist and single mother--who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town--and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mias past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood--and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.(r.3)

Highlights vs self- reflection:

1. “It bothers you, doesn’t it?” Mia said suddenly. “I think you can’t imagine. Why anyone would choose a different life from the one you’ve got. Why anyone might want something other than a big house with a big lawn, a fancy car, a job in an office. Why anyone would choose anything different than what you’d choose.”
Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere(r.4)

Golden Sentence:

1.“Rules existed for a reason: if you followed them, you would succeed; if you didnt, you might burn the world to the ground.” (r.4)
Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere

2. “The firemen said there were little fires everywhere,” Lexie said. “Multiple points of origin. Possible use of accelerant. Not an accident.”
Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere(r.4)

3. “All her life, she had learned that passion, like fire, was a dangerous thing. It so easily went out of control. It scaled walls and jumped over trenches. Sparks leapt like fleas and spread as rapidly; a breeze could carry embers for miles. Better to control that spark and pass it carefully from one generation to the next, like an Olympic torch. Or, perhaps, to tend it carefully like an eternal flame: a reminder of light and goodness that would never - could never - set anything ablaze. Carefully controlled. Domesticated. Happy in captivity. The key, she thought, was to avoid conflagration.”

― Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere

4. “To a parent, your child wasnt just a person: your child was a place, a kind of Narnia, a vast eternal place where the present you were living and the past you remembered and the future you longed for all at the same time. You could see it every time you looked at her: layered in her face was the baby shed been and the child shed become and the adult she would grow up to be, and you saw them all simultaneously, like a 3-D image. It made your head spin. It was a place you could take refuge, if you knew how to get in. And each time you left it, each time your child passed out of your sight, you feared you might never be able to return to that place again.”
Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere(r.4)


1.parent’s love comes from biologic seduction or motherhood calling? Lucky us to get chance to define these.


Pachinko Questions by Torey:

Related Reading:



2.Celeste Ng: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celeste_Ng

3.Little Fires Everywhere: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51704136-little-fires-everywhere

4.quotes: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/52959357-little-fires-everywhere

5.urban planning: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_planning




The novel chronicles the events over the course of the 1997–1998 school year. It primarily focuses on four families: the Warrens, the Richardsons, the McCulloughs, and the Chows.

The Fire Begins

The novel begins in the present with the Richardson family standing outside the front of their home watching as it burns. Izzy, the youngest Richardson child, is revealed as the most likely perpetrator. The rest of the novel is told in flashback regarding the events that led up to the fire.

The Meeting of the Warrens and the Richardsons

The Richardsons are an upper middle-class family who own a rental house that they have converted to a duplex leased to "deserving" people. They have four children in high school: Lexie, Trip, Moody, and Izzy. Moody Richardson happens across the new tenants of the rental house, Mia and Pearl Warren. Moody quickly forms a friendship with Pearl, and she becomes a mainstay at the Richardson household—almost a member of the family. While Moody is enamored with Pearl, she instead forms a romantic entanglement with Trip. Meanwhile Lexie enlists Pearl and Mias help when she becomes pregnant and needs an abortion. Izzy, the youngest of the Richardson children, also develops an independent relationship with Mia, with whom she works as an artists assistant.

The McCulloughs Enter the Picture

Mrs. Richardsons friend Linda McCullough has adopted a Chinese American girl who happens to be the daughter abandoned by Mia Warrens coworker Bebe. When Mia learns of the childs adoption and tells Bebe Chow, a custody battle ensues. Since Mia sides with Bebe, Mrs. Richardson decides to look into Mias past. She finds out that Mia was a surrogate for another family and "stole" the baby, which is why she and Pearl move around the country constantly and use an assumed identity.

Meanwhile, Bebe, Lexie, and Izzy lean on Mia for support with the myriad problems in their lives. In the court battle over custody, Bebe loses, and her daughter remains with her adoptive parents.

After Mrs. Richardson confronts Mia about her past, Mia and Pearl have no choice but to once again move away. This is disappointing on some level to Pearl because she had formed a romantic (though primarily sexual) relationship with Trip and a friendship with Moody. Still, they have no choice but to leave since Pearl could be taken away from Mia just as the baby, Mirabelle, is given to the McCulloughs by the court, even though she is biologically Bebes.

Dramatic Conclusion

Infuriated over the departure of Pearl and Mia as the result of their entanglement with her family and the drama surrounding the McCullough custody battle, Izzy, the youngest Richardson daughter, decides to take action. Since she is angry at virtually everyone in the Richardson household, she decides to set a fire in each of their rooms and then run away in search of Mia and Pearl.

In equally dramatic fashion, the conflict between the McCulloughs and Chows ends when Bebe breaks into the McCullough home and kidnaps her daughter May Ling. Because May Ling (Mirabelle) does not cry since she is being taken by her biological mother, Bebe is successful in taking her unnoticed. She returns to her native China, and Mirabelle is "lost" forever.


  1. Which of the many mother-daughter relationships most closely matches the relationship you have with your own mother? How about the relationship with you and your children?

The relationship between my children and I is similar to Mia and Pearl, art is the way we run our daily conversation link us to the past, presense and future, if we stay in the Narnia of here and now, we have a chance to rewrite and renovate few lines of our script. They are my children but lead me to a further way I never walked before.

  1. The fate of Miarbell/May Ling is central to the book. If you were the judge in the case, who would you choose to parent the young girl?

When she is young, maybe adopted parents could take better care of the baby, but when the baby grows up, still give her a chance to decide if she wanna to see her biological parents.

  1. Mias journey towards becoming an artist involves several different characters who supported her in formative ways. When you look back on your past, can you see similar instances where people helped guide you? Who were they, describe one memorable interaction. 

KIWC book club and the Buddha reading club really helps me find my deeper self and when I am down and out or alone, let me find my true self

  1. How is the town of Shaker Heights different to where we live?

My place is filled with helping people, no matter in the market or the strangers. I can see they all wanna help others.

  1. The idea of a “planned community” is important to this novel…why?

It is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas, such as transportation, communications, and distribution networks and their accessibility.[1] Traditionally, urban planning followed a top-down approach in master planning the physical layout of human settlements.[2] The primary concern was the public welfare,[1][2] which included considerations of efficiency, sanitation, protection and use of the environment,[1] as well as effects of the master plans on the social and economic activities.[3] Over time, urban planning has adopted a focus on the social and environmental bottom-lines that focus on planning as a tool to improve the health and well-being of people while maintaining sustainability standards. Sustainable development was added as one of the main goals of all planning endeavors in the late 20th century when the detrimental economic and the environmental impacts of the previous models of planning had become apparent.[citation needed]. Similarly, in the early 21st century, Jane Jacobs writings on legal and political perspectives to emphasize the interests of residents, businesses and communities effectively influenced urban planners to take into broader consideration of resident experiences and needs while planning.(r.5)

  1. What did you think of the title of the book before you started? How about once you were finished?

Before I thought is about little love, after ends up with fire, it’s really a shock to me. Like little spark at the beginning, if we didn’t pay attention and extinguish it right away.

  1. How many times have you moved in your life? Did you bring everything with you or shed possessions the way Mia does?

I moved three times: from big family, to my little family and to my farm, step by step to my dreamland.









( 創作另類創作 )
回應 推薦文章 列印 加入我的文摘
上一篇 回創作列表 下一篇