Chinese-American writer John Yau’s short fiction collection is set in bleak neighborhoods of casual misunderstanding, habitual deception and oblique, transient encounters among strangers. At the heart of Yau’s artistic inquiry is that precarious and unstable thing “identity”—and the ways that isolation and alienation threaten identity altogether. The Review of Contemporary Fiction said, “These are stories that recount the symptoms of many, if not most of us.”
Throughout My Symptoms, male and female narrators surprise us with unusual, shifting colloquialisms, with playfully enlivened cliches, pleasing turns of phrase.
—The Review of Contemporary Fiction