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(US) Dutton Books

Available May 7, 2024

Pre-order Here!

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(UK) John Murray Press

Available May 9, 2024

A staggering, tender epic about gay men in rural China—and the women who marry them.

For over thirty years, Old Second and his wife, Bao Mei, have cobbled together a meager existence in New York City’s Chinatown. But unlike other couples, these two aren’t in love. In rural China, before they emigrated, they frequented the Workers’ Cinema: a rundown theater where gay men cruised without fear.
While classic war films played, Old Second and his countrymen found privacy—and love—in the screening rooms. In the box office, Bao Mei sold tickets to closeted men; guarding their secrets, guiding them in their relationships, and even finding her own happiness with the theater’s projectionist. But when Old Second’s passion for his lover is discovered, a series of haunting events unfold, propelling these characters toward an uncertain future in America.
As we follow these characters from China to New York, from first love to old age, we bear witness to the tensions of immigration—and how memory forever weighs down the present. Cinema Love is a big-hearted and heart-shattering novel about desire, secrets, grief, how we care for one another, and how we survive.


“Resonant and textured… Tang announces himself as a writer to watch with this unshakable novel.”

Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A haunting story of shared pasts and troubled memories.”

Kirkus, starred review

"An excellent first novel and a captivating reading experience.”

Booklist, starred review


Cinema Love is not just an extraordinary debut, but a future classic. In this story of forbidden queer love and the cost of secrets, Jiaming Tang gives voice, humanity, and dignity to people so often rendered invisible by society. Here, Chinese laborers, factory workers, seamstresses, nail technicians, and cooks take glorious center stage, their lives and deepest yearnings made epic. I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t stop reading.”
—Jessamine Chan, New York Times bestselling author of The School for Good Mothers

“Gentle and fierce, heartbreaking without sacrificing its sense of humor, Jiaming Tang’s Cinema Love perfectly mines the difficult-to-reach space between agony and pleasure. I have never read anything like it, but my most secret parts have always longed to know the hidden truths it reveals. Guided through these shadowy and sorrowful places by Tang’s plush and vivid prose, I found myself breathless until the very end—and even then barely able to exhale. This is the unforgettable work of a patient master.

—Robert Jones Jr., author of the New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist The Prophets

"Exceptional, moving, and not to be missed."

—Alice Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author of The Invisible Hour

Cinema Love grasps you tightly in the heart, then does not let go. A tender and enrapturing feat of storytelling, this novel unwraps the brightest and darkest moments of queer love and all its humanity. The stories of the men and women in this book swallowed me whole, and I will never forget them.”

—Vanessa Chan, National Bestselling author of The Storm We Made

A beautifully told story about the delicate tension between love and longing, the crisis of loneliness, and the price of regret. With a wise, masterful compassion, Cinema Love announces Jiaming Tang as an essential new voice in literature. I absolutely loved this book.”

—Emily Habeck, National Bestselling author of Shark Heart

“Masterful… Cinema Love is a tender, deeply compassionate debut, with characters so vividly drawn they feel alive.”

—Grace D. Li, New York Times bestselling author of Portrait of a Thief


“Gracefully crisscrossing China and New York City’s Chinatown, Cinema Love lays bare that which so many of us feel: the struggle against loneliness, attempts to forge a life beyond betrayals large and small, and the fact that liberation for some means loss for others. Featuring characters full of wit, humor, and longing, Jiaming Tang’s debut navigates the complexities of intimacy with the utmost care, while also affirming that in order to build a better future, we must first make peace with the past. Hear me now: this is a book that’ll stay with you long after the last page.” 

—Mateo Askaripour, New York Times bestselling author of Black Buck

A testimony to the power of humanity and queer loveCinema Love brings to life characters and places that literature is missing, and that readers will never forget.” 

—Qian Julie Wang, New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Country

A staggering feat of storytelling, epic in its reach yet so intimate and nuanced in its ability to break the heart of its reader. Tang honours the many stripes of his characters’ journeys with forensic clarity, compassion and authenticity.”

—Wiz Wharton, author of Ghost Girl, Banana

“I loved it. Cinema Love fizzes with energy. The characters are rich and warm and the prose is perfect. Jiaming Tang is a remarkable new voice.

—Fiona Mozley, author of Elmet and Hot Stew 

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