Strange Enough to Be True

Literary Review of Canada
July 02, 2012

I n his 2006 Giller Prize–winning collection of linked short stories, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, Vincent Lam introduced a cameo character, Percival Chen, the tuxedo-clad headmaster of a private English academy in Saigon, sleeping off a hangover after a debauched night of gambling and whoring. In Lam's first novel, The Headmaster's Wager, Chen reappears as the fully fleshed-out protagonist, inspired by the author's larger-than-life (and large-as-fiction) Chinese grandfather.

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© Literary Review of Canada 2012