Things are strange out there on the fringes, as the always adventurous Xue’s latest novel illustrates. There is magical realism aplenty in the pages of Xue’s beguiling story, but magical realism by way of Calvino, not García Márquez. The opening is a scene from a waking dream, in which a young girl named Liujin strains to make out what voices caught in rustling poplar leaves are saying. By the end of the book, by which time the reader has explored every corner of the quiet frontier town and its strange portals, the wind is still blowing, warm and portentous, threatening to become nightmare as Liujin thinks, “Something must be about to happen.” Indeed. [. . .] Odd, atmospheric, and enchanting: a story in which, disbelief duly suspended, one savors improbabilities along with haunting images and is left wanting more.
Official pub date is March 14th, but you can order it now via our website.
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