The Escape to Candyland

Yong Takahashi

The Escape to Candyland

DARK AND ADDICTIVE INTERCONNECTED STORIES

WHAT IS THE MESSAGE HIDDEN BEHIND A POLITE SMILE?

In Yong Takahashi’s Atlanta, the immigrants, preacher’s wives, strippers, and shopkeepers who pass each other on the street all have a secret story to tell. Caught between generations of family, regrets from their pasts, conflicting cultures, and even countries, each character has a reason to fiercely guard their secret lives, even as they learn that the truth must escape. Takahashi’s characters chase their American dreams down back alleys and campaign trails, stumbling under the weight of the gifts their families have given them. A box of Boraxo hand soap. Change for the vending machine. A stranger’s driver’s license. A mother’s love. The smallest exchange could prove kill or cure when you walk the streets of Candyland.

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Takahashi has written an impressive collection of essays about the secret stories people who pass each other on the street carry within themselves. People with seemingly normal lives keep secrets tamped down within themselves.

B. J. Taylor

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Escape to Candyland is a mesmerizing collection that weaves delicately through the wasteland of life’s pain and struggle . . . [and] captures the breadth of hope and love contained in the human heart.

– Zachary Steele, Author of Anointed and Flutter, Founder and Executive Director of Broadleaf Writers Association

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Absolutely, the most absorbing book that I have read in a long time. The author, Yong Takahashi, arouses our curiosity about people that we see, on the street, In the office, on the subway, and never think about what secrets they are hiding in their lives. 

– Don Lucerto