“A word, placed on her tongue, became flesh. One night it was almost morning, I could almost see her, every sentence a necklace she was pulling out of her mouth, tangled in smoke.” These stories embed themselves in you like splinters of glass in your skin. May Lan Tan creates whole worlds in the span of a few pages: worlds that are, in turns, finely-wrought and funny and devastating in their specificity, their humanness, their honesty, their sparkling, smoky vividness. I want to live inside of these stories.— Katie
These eleven short fictions evoke the microcosmic worlds every human relationship contains. A woman is captivated by the stories her boyfriend tells about his exes. A faltering artist goes on a date with a married couple. Twin brothers work out their rivalry via the girl next door. In every one of these tales, we meet indelibly real and unforgettable people, a cast of rebels and dreamers trying to transform themselves, forge new destinies, or simply make the moment last.