Inside Simon Han’s suburban dreamscape

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Simon Han’s debut book Nights When Nothing Happened tells you exactly what the book is about. Except, “nothing happening” is in the eye of the beholder. The novel, about a Chinese immigrant family living in Plano, Texas, is as equally quiet as it is thrilling. The project started as a short story about a young girl who begins sleepwalking that spiraled into one of the best novels of the year.

Like the characters in the book, Han was born in China but grew up in Texas. However, he was not a sleepwalker but is a visiting professor at the University of Tulsa. His short stories have The AtlanticThe Iowa ReviewGuernicaElectric Literature, and the Texas Observer.

Author photo by Melissa Lukenbaugh

Adam Vitcavage is joined by Simon Han to talk about his debut novel Nights When Nothing Happened. The two talk about suburbia, race, and how the most thrilling moments can also be the most quiet.

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Thank you to Rocky Collin for letting me use their song “What Is It” for this podcast. Follow the band at

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