Review by Booklist Review
Clark's debut collection of 18 stories gives keen insight into the transnational Chinese experience and the often relatable struggles and fears these characters face. A woman bargains to keep her husband and unborn child when God comes to take someone from her life away. Another woman wears her husband's clothing after he dies and imagines herself to be in his body to avoid grieving. A husband and wife welcome his old flame for a visit, but as the three walk around a city in the aftermath of anti-Asian hate crimes, the wife and ex-lover find they have more commonality and understanding with one another than they do with the same man. Struggling with her hair loss, a woman reflects on the trauma her mother put her through. And, in the title piece, a mother and daughter roam the world as ghosts in parallel universes, each one haunted by her past even in death. Clark's stories explore trauma, mother-daughter relationships, female friendships, identity, and grief with humor and an incredible wit that will capture readers.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In turns devastating and hilarious, Clark's exceptional debut collection cuts right to the emotional core of its characters and their conflicts in stories that examine Asian identity, familial relationships, climate anxiety, and gender with an astonishing sense of nuance and clarity. In "Lie-in," an injured ballerina uses her time off to learn Cantonese while her husband dances in an international production of Don Quixote with a new beautiful female lead. In "A Woman in Love," a recently divorced woman plots to steal her pet dog from her ex-husband, reflecting on the question of "when does a dog become your dog?" A woman and her partner undergo brain surgery to change their body temperatures in "Amygdala" to contend with the Earth's rising temperatures. In "Private Eating," a Chinese woman lies about being a vegetarian to an anesthesiologist whom she has recently started dating (he's judgmental of meat eaters, but otherwise seems like a catch). In the title story, the ghost of a woman who recently died from cancer befriends Neil Armstrong, haunts her loved ones, and reckons with the cruel joke of death. With a striking style, Clark consistently hits her mark, sticking each landing with breathtaking poignancy. This will not disappoint. (May)
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