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Michelle Malonzo of Changing Hands Bookstore recommends 'How Much of These Hills Is Gold'

c pam zhang
Changing Hands Bookstore
editorial | agency
"How Much of These Hills Is Gold" is C. Pam Zhang's debut novel set during the gold rush.

The Show's Page Turner series asks local booksellers to talk about their latest recommendations.

Today, we’ll hear about the debut novel from Chinese-American writer C. Pam Zhang called "How Much of These Hills Is Gold." It’s set during the gold rush and tells the story of siblings Lucy and Sam, who are recently orphaned when their father dies.

"So they end up on the run, with their father’s dead body, literally on their backs, looking for a proper burial ground for him," Michelle Malonzo said. "It’s an adventure story, a Western, an epic and a love letter to immigrants who crossed vast bodies of land and water to come to this country."

Malonzo is a book buyer at Changing Hands Bookstore. She says when Zhang moved to the U.S. from Beijing, she moved around a lot and has talked about being enthralled with stories of the American West. But she noticed she never saw herself reflected in those stories. So she set out to change that with her book, which Malonzo describes as “fierce” and “proud.”  

The Show spoke with Malonzo for more about "How Much of These Hills Is Gold."

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.