By Jack Livings
Farrar Straus Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374178536, 225pp.
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
"Jack Livings's stories of China are marvels of the imagination." Paul Harding, author of "Tinkers"
Set in the shifting landscape of contemporary China, Jack Livings's "The Dog" explodes the country's cultural and social fault lines, revealing a nation accustomed to rations, bitter struggle, and the stranglehold of communism as it confronts a generation rife with the promise of unforeseen prosperity.
In this riveting, richly imagined collection, 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 marginalized but powerful Uyghur gangster clashes with his homosexual grandson; and a dogged journalist is forced to resign as young writers in "pink Izod golf shirts and knockoff Italian loafers" write his stories out from under him. 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.
“Excellent tales that are by turns witty and scary and wise . . . Livings is a superb and singular writer.” —Kurt Andersen
“Exquisitely observed . . . What gives these stories their dark, upsetting grandeur is in every case the luminosity of hope, no matter how fragile, how vulnerable, how very nearly extinguished.” —Paul Harding