ANew YorkerBEST BOOK of 2023 | MOST ANTICIPATED byNylon• Rolling Stone • The Millions
From multi-award-winning author Yan Ge, a shimmering, genre-bending English-language debut that announces the next phase in a major literary career.
“As haunting, dreamlike, and addictive as a melatonin-induced slumber.” —Nylon
“Deft... Elsewhere [explores] the power of language across the Chinese diaspora to either bring people together or push them apart.”—The New York Times
In twenty years, Yan Ge has authored thirteen books written in Chinese, working across an impressive range of genres and subjects. Now, Yan Ge transposes her dynamic storytelling onto another linguistic landscape. The result is a collection humming with her trademark wit and style—and with the electricity of a seasoned artist flexing her virtuosity with a new medium.
A young woman bonds with an encampment of poets after a devastating earthquake. Against her better judgment, a college student begins to fall for an acquaintance who might be dead. And a Confucian disciple returns to the Master bearing a jar full of grisly remains. Weaving between reality and dreamy surreality, these nine stories wend toward elsewhere, a comforting, frustrating, just-out-of-reach place familiar to anyone who has ever experienced longing. Through it all Yan Ge’s protagonists peer thoughtfully at their own feelings of displacement—physical or emotional, the result of travel, emigration, or exile. Brilliant and irresistibly readable, Elsewhere explores the utility (or not) of art in the face of lonesomeness, quotidian, and spectacular.
This highly anticipated collection is further proof that Yan Ge is a generational literary talent, to be watched closely for decades to come.
Yan Ge was born in Sichuan, China. She is a fiction writer in both Chinese and English, and is the author of thirteen books in Chinese, including five novels. The first of her Chinese-language novels to be translated and released in the US, Strange Beasts of China, was one of The New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Yan’s English writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Irish Times, TLS, the Stinging Fly, and more. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia where she was the recipient of the UEA International Award for 2018–2019. She lives in Norwich with her husband and son.