Set in the shifting landscape of contemporary China, Jack Living's debut story collection, The Dog, explodes the country's cultural and social fault lines.
In this riveting, richly imagined collection of stories, a wealthy factory owner - once a rural peasant -refuses to help the victims of an earthquake until his daughter starts a relief effort of her own; a powerful Uyghur gangster clashes with his homosexual grandson; and a man struggles to undertake a physically impossible task - constructing a giant crystal sarcophagus for the dead leader.
With spare, penetrating prose, Livings gives shape to the anonymous faces in the crowd and illuminates the tensions, ironies, and possibilities of life in modern China. As heartbreaking as it is hopeful, The Dog marks the debut of a startling and wildly imaginative new voice in fiction.
An incisive - and highly impressive - debut. Livings demonstrates his virtuosity as a storyteller, his ability to immerse us instantly in the lives of his characters, to conjure the daily reality of the very different worlds they inhabit. He's a sort of Chekhovian observer . . . The stories bristle with prickly details and barbed observations that make them stick in the reader's mind' New York Times
'A brilliant and promising debut. With its tales of volatile protagonists struggling to survive in contemporary China, The Dog should attract widespread attention and praise . . . Any unfamiliarity with the Chinese locales and culture is quickly eased by Livings's imaginative yet realistic scenarios and vividly drawn characters' Booklist
'Livings writes so simply, and so well . . . These stories are sneaky, almost subliminal, in their ambitions and connections' Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
'A socially complex and pitch-perfect account of modernization's grueling aftermath' Publishers Weekly