I Live in the Slums
Can Xue, Karen Gernant, Zeping Chen
Longlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize
A major new collection of stories by one of the most exciting and creative voices in contemporary Chinese literature
“There’s something inescapably cosmic about [Can Xue’s] writing: the grandness of her vision, the abstraction of her thought, the way the details of lived reality seem to shrink and assume an equal significance, as though one were orbiting a distant star and peering down.”-Bailey Trela, Los Angeles Review of Books
Can Xue’s stories observe no obvious conventions of plot or characterization. That is the only rule they follow. Instead, they tend to limn a disordered and poetic state given structure by philosophical wonder and emotional rigor.
Combining elements of both Chinese materiality-the love of physical things-and Western abstract thinking, Can Xue invites her readers into an immersive landscape that blends empirical fact and illusion, mixes the physical and spiritual, and probes the space between consciousness and oblivion. She brings us to a place that is both readily familiar yet unmappable and can make us hyperaware of the inherent unreliability in our relationship to the world around us. Delightful, enchanting, and filled with secrets, Can Xue’s newest collection shines a light on the forces that give contours to the visible terrain we acknowledge as reality.
"Sixteen dreamlike stories, translated from the Chinese, merge the physical and the philosophical."-New York Times Book Review
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?