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Table of Contents
About The Book
“A bewitching collection of stories that will leave you awestruck, shaken, and wanting to reach for it again and again.” —Paul Yoon, author of Run Me to Earth
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.
- Publisher: Scribner (July 11, 2023)
- Length: 304 pages
- ISBN13: 9781982198480
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Raves and Reviews
Praise for Elsewhere
"Yan Ge explores human connections and disruptions in this ethereal collection… Here and elsewhere, Yan combines dry and subtle humor with her evocative lyrical style. These stories brim with intelligence.”—Publisher's Weekly
"A bold, confident book that delights in written language even as it probes it.”—Kirkus
"Do you remember the feeling of not wanting anyone else to discover your favorite band? Of the music speaking to you as though it were some extraordinary secret only you could understand and decode? Yan Ge’s Elsewhere, in all its spellbinding, strange, wondrous and captivating glory, is such a book: let me hold on to it a little while longer before you experience it too. A bewitching collection of stories that will leave you awestruck, shaken, and wanting to reach for it again and again."—Paul Yoon, author of Run Me to Earth
“A gripping, stunning work, worldly and otherworldly. Rich with philosophical depths, comedy, feeling and playfulness, Elsewhere is a wondrous book of books. It is like new light in an old, searching world.”—Madeleine Thein, author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing
“Yan Ge is one of the most surprising writers I’ve read in recent years, a fantastic storyteller who never fails to thrill me. In Elsewhere, her stories are both expansive and precise, their range of subjects and approaches suggesting few bounds to the subversive pleasures her stories might deliver. I suspect that even now Yan Ge is racing ahead of us lucky readers, off to explore the outer limits of possibility.” —Matt Bell, author of Appleseed
“Having already made a name for herself in Chinese, the prodigiously talented Yan Ge now reveals an equally compelling voice in English. The denizens of Elsewhere are misfits and dropouts, perpetually at odds with their surroundings in a world that refuses to accommodate them. A highly accomplished collection that is equal parts shimmering wit and startling emotional depth.”—Jeremy Tiang, author of State of Emergency
"Precise, surreal and emotionally devastating—the stories in Elsewhere leap between continents and centuries with a fierceness and confidence that makes their abiding loneliness and sense of longing all the more affecting."—Lucy Caldwell, author of These Days
"I don’t know anyone who writes like Yan Ge. In her distinctive story collection, Elsewhere, we meet characters from everywhere: the ancient world and the present day, the East and the West, the all-too-human and the larger-than-life. Throughout, we are confronted with questions simultaneously playful and profound, graced with dry wit and a blink-and-you-miss-it humour. Yan Ge writes with impressive facility across many registers, embracing a breadth of topics with both irreverence and pathos. Quick to read, but long to consider, I think this collection is extraordinary. "—Melissa Fu, author of Peach Blossom Spring
Praise for Strange Beasts of China
"The atmosphere of Strange Beasts of China is delightful. Through the narrator’s futile quest to catalog beasts, Yan captures the fluidness of city life, the way urban space defies definition even for people hellbent on making sense of it."
—The New York Times
Luminous and beguiling… Yan is a deft and engaging storyteller, with a proclivity for dramatic revelations… Yan’s rare versatility and inventiveness keeps the narrative continuously surprising. … Strange Beasts transfixes you like a vivid dream, offering glimpses of the waking world contorted into uncanny forms.”
—The Washington Post
“Magical realism of the best kind, where the spectacular is paired with just enough irony and daffy humor to keep it grounded on earth—or whichever world this fun and beguiling book takes place.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“A page-turner whose dense, fantastical atmosphere lingers long after the read.”
“Strange Beasts of China feels like a riddle and a parable and a dream, the kind of book you want to get lost in.”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
"A thought-provoking read on its own merit, the book takes on added significance given that it is an early work by Yan, whose talent is clear, raw and electrifying."
"Playful and darkly subtle . . . The world shown here is full of chaos and vulnerability."
—The Irish Times
“Mixes a sort of Borgesian bestiary of mysterious creatures with a deep sense of urban andsocial alienation to produce an enthralling and fascinating narrative. A breath of fresh air in theoften hard-sf dominated field of recently translated Chinese science fiction, this novel is a must-read for fans of Vandermeer, Borges, or fantasy fiction that blurs the line between genre and literary fiction.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“The overall effect of Yan’s storytelling is dreamy and hypnotic, sometimes opaque but always captivating. These cryptic but well-told tales offer much to chew on.”
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High Resolution Images
- Book Cover Image (jpg): Elsewhere Hardcover 9781982198480
- Author Photo (jpg): Yan Ge Photograph by Joanna Millington(0.1 MB)
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