"There's a new world master among us, and her name is Can Xue."Robert Coover
Two young girls sneak onto the grounds of a hospital, where they find a disturbing moment of silence in a rose garden. A couple grows a plant that blooms underground, invisibly, to their long-time neighbor's consternation. A cat worries about its sleepwalking owner, who receives a mysterious visitor while he's asleep. After a ten-year absence, a young man visits his uncle, on the twenty-fourth floor of a high-rise that is floating in the air, while his ugly cousin hesitates on the stairs . . .
Can Xue is a master of the dreamscape, crafting stories that inhabit the space where fantasy and reality, time and timelessness, the quotidian and the extraordinary, meet. The stories in this striking and lyrical new collectionpopulated by old married couples, children, cats, and nosy neighbors, the entire menagerie of the everydayreaffirm Can Xue's reputation as one of the most innovative Chinese writers in a generation.
Can Xue is a pseudonym meaning "dirty snow, leftover snow." She learned English on her own and has written books on Borges, Shakespeare, and Dante. Her publications in English include, The Embroidered Shoes, Five Spice Street, and Blue Light in the Sky, among others.
Karen Gernant is a professor emerita of Chinese history at Southern Oregon University. She translates in collaboration with Chen Zeping.
Chen Zeping is a professor of Chinese linguistics at Fujian Teachers' University, and has collaborated with Karen Gernant on more than ten translations.
"If China has one possibility of a Nobel laureate, it is Can Xue."Susan Sontag
"There's a common thread between Can Xue and Japanese writer Haruki Murakami in that both writers use the surreal to expound the oddness of human experiences; but where Murakami's is a kind of hipster existentialism, Can Xue roots her existentialism in folklore. In many ways, Can Xue's place is between Isaac Bashevis Singer and Franz Kafka."World Literature Today
"At her best, Xue captures the wonder of the natural world and then, with great assurance, steps beyond into something entirely."Publishers Weekly
"Xue's creativity with descriptive language is as innovative as that of the American writers Ray Bradbury and John Steinbeck; her experiments with synesthesia result in strikingly detailed backgrounds for her insubstantial plots."The Harvard Crimson
"Can Xue's stories unfold with an eerie, dreamlike intensity. The ingenuity of her uncanny vision calls to mind a mix of Jorge Luis Borges and George Mac Donald. But her most striking accomplishment is the way she brings her characters to life. Despite.the bizarre situations in which they find themselves, the narrators of these stories are utterly identifiable, imbued with an endearing pathos."Baltimore Sun