"Salt Fish Girl" is the mesmerizing tale of an ageless female character who shifts shape and form through time and place. Told in the beguiling voice of a narrator who is fish, snake, girl, and woman - all of whom must struggle against adversity for survival - the novel is set alternately in nineteenth-century China and in a futuristic Pacific Northwest.
At turns whimsical and wry, "Salt Fish Girl" intertwines the story of Nu Wa, the shape-shifter, and that of Miranda, a troubled young girl living in the walled city of Serendipity circa 2044. Miranda is haunted by traces of her mother's glamourous cabaret career, the strange smell of durian fruit that lingers about her, and odd tokens reminiscient of Nu Wa. Could Miranda be infected by the Dreaming Disease that makes the past leak into the present?
Framed by a playful sense of magical realism, "Salt Fish Girl" reveals a futuristic Pacific Northwest where corporations govern cities, factory workers are cybernetically engineered, middle-class labour is a video game, and those who haven't sold out to commerce and other ills must fight the evil powers intent on controlling everything. Rich with ancient Chinese mythology and cultural lore, this remarkable novel is about gender, love, honour, intrigue, and fighting against oppression.
This haunting and compelling novel of a Filipino boy sent to America by his parents to escape the brutal Marcos regime is a story of hope set against a backdrop of abuse and alienation. Following the Filipino tradition of writing letters to the ghosts of ancestors, Bong Bong Luwad begins to write letters to the ghost of Montgomery Clift, at first asking to be reunited with his family, but as he undergoes the pains of adolescence, sexual discovery, and mental illness, the letters form a journal of self-discovery.
A literary dreamscape in which the landscapes of childhood, homelands, bodies, lovers, and desires succumb to whimsy, revision, and denial. With wild grace, Chin bounds through actual events and imagined outcomes-in a place where killing snakes, stern discipline, family pets, and childhood vacations share equal time with unrequited love, the mournful specters of ex-lovers, imagined passions, and the enigmatic power of a good kiss-reconciling what is lost, taken away, denied, outgrown, left behind, survived, remembered, and reclaimed.
Banker by day, and denizen of Los Angeles' clubs by night, the protagonist of Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla's first novel is navigating between more than just a day job and an active social life. In Ode to Lata, Ali has left behind a tempestuous childhood in postcolonial Kenya, the overprotective mother who raised him on a steady diet of Hindi cinema, an emotionally abusive bisexual lover, and confused memories of his father's violent death at the hands of his mistress. Now his mother's messages ramble on his answering machine when he wants no one but his one obsession, Richard, to call. Passionate and unflinchingly honest in its narrative, Ode to Lata scavenges the depths of one man's misguided search for love in a world of emotionally-void encounters and tangled memories. All the while, Ali's story is intertwined with the unraveling of his parents' own doomed relationship and the film music of Bollywood's eminent singer Lata Mangeshkar (Diva of Indian film music and the namesake of the book's title). And it is this hopelessly romantic music that scores their tormented lives and goads them to pursue love through chaos and ecstasy.
A captivating collection of short fiction by a talented new writer, with settings that range from a girls' school in Trinidad to an Indian restaurant in Vancouver. These tales of conflicting emotions and rebellion are mesmerizing in their sensuality.
Julie Otsuka's commanding debut novel paints a portrait of the Japanese internment camps unlike any we have ever seen. With crystalline intensity and precision, Otsuka uses a single family to evoke the deracination "both physical and emotional" of a generation of Japanese Americans.
In five chapters, each flawlessly executed from a different point of view "the mother receiving the order to evacuate; the daughter on the long train ride to the camp; the son in the desert encampment; the family's return to their home; and the bitter release of the father after more than four years in captivity" she has created a small tour de force, a novel of unrelenting economy and suppressed emotion.
Spare, intimate, arrestingly understated, When the Emperor Was Divine is a haunting evocation of a family in wartime and an unmistakably resonant lesson for our times. It heralds the arrival of a singularly gifted new novelist.
In this "equally beguiling sequel to his acclaimed memoir" (Kirkus Reviews), teenager Da Chen takes his first train ride away from the farm he was raised on to his new university life in Beijing. He soon faces a host of ghastly challenges, including poor living conditions, lack of food, and suicidal roommates. Undaunted by these hurdles, and armed with a dogged determination to learn English and "all things Western," he competes to win a chance to study in America—a chance that rests in the shrewd and corrupt hands of the almighty professors.
Poetic, hilarious, and heartbreaking, Sounds of the River is a gloriously written coming-of-age saga that chronicles a remarkable journey—a travelogue of the heart.
"Deft, edgy, dystopic, assiduous in their loathing of the famous fascination of the exotic, Cathy Park Hong's poems burst forth in searing flashes of ire and insight. She gives no quarter to either Korean or English. Without creative interference, without mistranslation, language to her is history's 'cracked' thorax, a resented 'dictation,' and a constant personal embarrassment. Her poems are 'islands without flags,' 'the ocean a slate gray/ along the wolf-hued sand.' TRANSLATING MO'UM is striking both for its stabbingly original, vinegary images and its ruthless honesty: Hong being that rare thing, a poet as rigorous in her self-scrutiny as in her cultural confrontations."—Calvin Bedient