The official site of author Ed Lin.




Ed Lin is a new writer, but he has the eye and a wit of a pro….Waylaid will make you laugh and cringe. It will also remind you of your own manic determination to have sex at whatever the cost.



Waylaid, is like a nihilistic—but enjoyable—detour on a journey from nothing to nowhere.

Time Asia


Lin’s unsentimental, purely realist—not naturalist, not socialist, not postmodernist—novel raises hopes that American fiction may yet grow up.

Booklist-Starred Review


One of the rawest coming-of-age tales of all time and, definitely, the best novel I have read all year.



This is not your geeky pocket-protector Asian protagonist, and it might not be the “model immigrant” story some people want to be told, but it is the real story people most need to hear.

Japan Times

A Booklist Editors’ Choice in fiction, 2002

Waylaid is the story of a Taiwanese/Chinese American boy struggling to grow up amidst the drudgery and sexual innuendo of his parents’ sleazy motel on the Jersey Shore. Conscripted into the family business, the protagonist spends his summer days and afterschool hours renting out rooms to johns and hookers, lonely old men, and families whose homes have been repossessed. He becomes obsessed with losing his virginity, a preoccupation whose very intensity reflects a society that delivers sex as a distraction from despair. In its blackly humorous exploration of immigrant dreams and working class realities, Waylaid is a switchblade in the gut to stories of overachievement and success that ignore the human cost.


Ed Lin has wrought an Asian American Holden Caulfield, whose view from his tightly conscripted life of working at his parents’ motel is to get laid without getting fucked. No model minority success here, this is the harsh universe of working class immigrants, a nether world that both fascinates and repels.
Helen Zia author of Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People
Wonderful… In Waylaid, Lin has crafted an unforgettable story from the rundown landscapes of the New Jersey Shore and from the ambivalant geographies of his young narrator’s heart… A coming-of-age novel that is both piercing and tender… Lin is an astonishing talent.
Junot Díaz Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

There’s great humor here, and great storytelling. What Ed does best is what only great writers do – he tells the truth. I’m a fan for life.
Wayne Kramer co-founder of MC5 and Mad for the Racket