Last Night at the Telegraph Club

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What to expect

‘Lo’s writing . . . shimmers with the thrills of youthful desire. A lovely, memorable novel’ – Sarah Waters, author of Tipping the Velvet and The Night Watch.

‘An instant classic, the finest LGBTQIA+ romance I’ve read in ages.’ – Bill Konigsberg, award-winning author of The Music of What Happens and The Bridge

From the award winning author of Ash comes a gripping story of love and duty set in San Francisco’s Chinatown during the 1950s.

Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can’t remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club.

America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father – despite his hard-won citizenship – Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.

(P) 2021 Listening Library

Critics Review

  • Lo’s writing, restrained yet luscious, shimmers with the thrills of youthful desire. A lovely, memorable novel about listening to the whispers of a wayward heart and claiming a place in the world

    Sarah Waters
  • Exquisite and heart-shattering, Last Night at the Telegraph Club made me ache with wishing. This book is for anyone who has ever loved-in any sense of the word

    Emily X.R. Pan
  • Oh, what a wonderful novel this is! For all who ever dared to want more, much more, from life – a beautifully sensitive love story, with telling historic detail

    Susan Elia MacNeal
  • Malinda Lo’s Last Night at the Telegraph Club is an instant classic, the finest LGBTQIA+ romance I’ve read in ages. Lo has lovingly re-created 1950s San Francisco and made me feel as though I’d lived there, and her depiction of first love felt so real that I experienced it in long-since-forgotten corners of my own heart

    Bill Konigsberg
  • A beautifully observed story about finding love and fighting for one’s identity against tremendous odds. In bringing a fascinating chapter of history to vivid life, this novel illuminates a path to the future through a careful understanding of our past. It’s vivid, emotional, and hopeful. I loved it

    Abdi Nazemian
  • Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love.

    Kirkus

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