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3.0 

Bestiary

By K-Ming Chang
Bestiary by K-Ming Chang digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS’ CHOICE • Three generations of Taiwanese American women are haunted by the myths of their homeland in this spellbinding, visceral debut about one family’s queer desires, violent impulses, and buried secrets.

“Gorgeous and gorgeously grotesque . . . Every line of this sensuous, magical-realist marvel is utterly alive.”—O: The Oprah Magazine


FINALIST FOR THE LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD • LONGLISTED FOR THE VCU CABELL FIRST NOVELIST AWARD • LONGLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY O: The Oprah Magazine • NPR • The New York Public Library • Kirkus Reviews  

One evening, Mother tells Daughter a story about a tiger spirit who lived in a woman’s body. She was called Hu Gu Po, and she hungered to eat children, especially their toes. Soon afterward, Daughter awakes with a tiger tail. And more mysterious events follow: Holes in the backyard spit up letters penned by her grandmother; a visiting aunt arrives with snakes in her belly; a brother tests the possibility of flight. All the while, Daughter is falling for Ben, a neighborhood girl with strange powers of her own. As the two young lovers translate the grandmother’s letters, Daughter begins to understand that each woman in her family embodies a myth—and that she will have to bring her family’s secrets to light in order to change their destiny.

With a poetic voice of crackling electricity, K-Ming Chang is an explosive young writer who combines the wit and fabulism of Helen Oyeyemi with the subversive storytelling of Maxine Hong Kingston. Tracing one family’s history from Taiwan to America, from Arkansas to California, Bestiary is a novel of migration, queer lineages, and girlhood.

Praise for Bestiary

“[A] vivid, fabulist debut . . . the prose is full of imagery. Chang’s wild story of a family’s tenuous grasp on belonging in the U.S. stands out with a deep commitment to exploring discomfort with the body and its transformations.”Publishers Weekly

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40 Reviews

3.0
“Taiwanese myths are weaved into the narrator’s experiences so seamlessly I almost hesitate to call this magical realism, as the narrator consistently and directly challenges how the reader’s cultural background may disadvantage them into not believing the story being told, especially as it becomes progressively more fantastic. I’m a very visual person so I also loved the vivid surreal imagery throughout. The sometimes gross sense of humour of the narrator and her friend also made this feel like a very honest portrayal of girlhood.”
“hmmmmmmm, 2.5. this took me forever to get through because i just wasn’t excited about it. you can tell it’s a debut novel by a poet…lyrical prose but not much of a narrative to follow. and just too grotesque for me, felt gratuitous and unnecessary a lot of the time. idk. eh.”

About K-Ming Chang

K-Ming Chang was born in the year of the tiger. She is a Kundiman Fellow and a Lambda Literary Award finalist in poetry. Her poems have been anthologized in Ink Knows No Borders, Best New Poets 2018, Bettering American Poetry Vol. 3, the 2019 Pushcart Prize Anthology, and elsewhere. Raised in California, she now lives in New York.

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