In this “intriguing collection of 13 short stories” (Library Journal), Chinese-American poet and author John Yau tackles the problems of being an outcast from society and of the essential difficulty of establishing communion with another human being.
Yau, who again deftly captures both the city that he famously haunts (New York City) as well as a variety of other settings, tells these ambitious stories through thirteen different first-person narrators, including in his worlds cockroaches, students, prostitutes, and Norman Rockwell. Yau’s ability as a writer is abundantly evident throughout; as Yau refuses to accept easy answers.
—The Review of Contemporary Fiction
[There is] a certain deadpan sensibility whether he’s being plain (‘A hundred and forty dollars, seven crisp twenties’) or perverse (‘I guess it’s one thing to sleep with a dog, and another thing to sleep with a guy dressed up like a dog’) . . . . Throughout, there is a self-consciousness about the difficulty and boundlessness of fiction, as well as an implied glorification of those living off the proverbial beaten path.