Bliss montage

Ling Ma, 1983-

Book - 2022

"A new creation by the author of Severance, the stories in Bliss Montage crash through our carefully built mirages"--

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New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2022.
First edition
Physical Description
pages cm
Main Author
Ling Ma, 1983- (author)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

In six stories set mostly in central New York State, Natural History revisits the family of scientists, teachers, and innovators the expansive Barrett has featured regularly since her National Book Award-winning collection Ship Fever. From passengers quarantined while on cruise to a woman explaining to her barstool companion that she has ESP to a hyena loose in the south of France, I Walk Between the Raindrops shows off the award-winning Boyle's trenchant prose (50,000-copy first printing). In Bliss Montage, NYPL Young Lion Ma (Severance) reveals the absurdism of the everyday through push-the-envelope stories featuring a woman living with all her former boyfriends, relationships based on an invisibility drug, and the idea that burying oneself alive can cure all manner of ills (75,000-copy first printing). From prolific, icepick-exact short story writer Means, a Pushcart and O. Henry honoree, Two Nurses, Smoking explores grief and survival in pieces ranging from two nurses exchanging quiet support in a parking lot to a couple reuniting on the ski slopes after having met in a bereavement group. Copyright 2022 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Ma (Severance) examines themes of otherness and disconnection in this fantastical and often brilliant collection. In "Tomorrow," an arm protrudes from a woman's vagina during her pregnancy, which her doctor says is "not ideal" but "relatively safe," his cursory advice gleaned from a website that "looks like WebMD." The mother, like many of the book's protagonists, emigrated from China to the U.S. as a child; later in the story, she returns to visit her great-aunt, with whom she communicates primarily through a translation app. In "Returning," a woman travels with her husband to his native country, the fictional Garboza, only to be abandoned by him at the airport. The protagonist, who wrote a novel about a couple who "during an economic depression, decide to cryogenically freeze themselves," experiences ambivalence about her marriage. These stories, and the elliptical "Office Hours" (about a young woman's semi-romance with her film professor, who has a Narnia-like magical wardrobe in his office), are enchanting, full of intelligence, dry humor, and an appealing self-awareness. On the other hand, a couple of entries—such as "Los Angeles," about a woman living with 100 of her ex-boyfriends—don't quite manifest into something more than their conceit. Nevertheless, there is much to enjoy. Agent: Jin Auh, Wylie Agency. (Sept.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A new creation by the author of Severance, the stories in Bliss Montage crash through our carefully built mirages.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"A new creation by the author of Severance, the stories in Bliss Montage crash through our carefully built mirages"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A new creation by the author of Severance, Bliss Montage crashes through our carefully built mirages.What happens when fantasy tears the screen of the everyday to wake us up? Could that waking be our end?In Bliss Montage, Ling Ma brings us eight wildly different tales of people making their way through the madness and reality of our collective delusions: love and loneliness, connection and possession, friendship, motherhood, the idea of home. A woman lives in a house with all her ex-boyfriends. A toxic friendship grows up around a drug that makes you invisible. An ancient ritual might heal you of anything—if you bury yourself alive. These and other scenarios investigate the ways that the outlandish and the ordinary are shockingly, deceptively, heartbreakingly alike.