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Larry Felder Candidate by Bob Levey

Larry Felder Candidate by Bob Levey

The cover of Bob Levey’s first novel. COURTESY PHOTO

Bob Levey photo

Bob Levey photo

Former Washington Post columnist Bob Levey publishes his first novel “Larry Felder, Candidate.” COURTESY PHOTO

By Barbara Trainin Blank It’s a well-established tradition that journalists turn to fiction writing. Take Hemingway as one example. Add to that list Bob Levey, a longtime columnist for The Washington Post who has just published his first novel. “Larry Felder, Candidate,” however is not divorced from journalism. The eponymous successful columnist in mid-life decides […]

Montgomery County resident Lillian Li, author of "Number One Chinese Restaurant." COURTESY PHOTOS

Montgomery County resident Lillian Li, author of "Number One Chinese Restaurant." COURTESY PHOTOS

North Potomac native Lillian Li, author of “Number One Chinese Restaurant.” COURTESY PHOTOS  Listed as one of the best books of the summer by Time Magazine, O Magazine, Buzzfeed, Star Tribune, and Toronto Star, the novel “Number One Chinese Restaurant” by Lillian Li, became a hit after being released last month. Critics call it “insightful,” a “beautifully evoked multigenerational narrative.” Kirkus Reviews dubbed author Li a “writer to watch.”    

The story, set in the fictional Beijing Duck House of Rockville, Maryland follows the intergenerational drama and struggles of the immigrant families, who own and operate the restaurant. The novel discusses themes such as “family vs. individual ambition,” parent vs. child expectations, and “family vs. business in general.”

Li, a native to North Potomac, thought of this story after she quit her job as a waitress at a local Chinese restaurant. She describes her experience there as being “new” and “outside of the realm of what [she] had experienced before” but at the same time “painful.”

Not only was the job physically taxing, in less than a month it made Li feel “lonely” and “alienated” and she wondered “what it took” for her coworkers, who had worked there for “years, sometimes decades” to keep going. In planning for her story she asked herself what her coworkers had “given up in their outside lives, in their family, to have that connection with where they work.”    

IMG 0019

IMG 0019

E. Annie Proulx     PHOTO BY PETER ROULEAUROCKVILLE — On Saturday, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference presented its 21st annual award to author E. Annie Proulx.

Named for the author of the acclaimed novel “The Great Gatsby,” who is interred, along with his wife Zelda, in the cemetery at St. Mary’s Church in Rockville, the conference leadership aims to honor Fitzgerald’s work as well as the work of contemporary American authors, and to provide educational opportunities for aspiring writers.

At their annual festival, conference members honor one American writer with the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature. They held this year’s festival at Richard Montgomery High School, across Rockville Pike from Fitzgerald’s grave.