Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the Pen/Robert W. Bingham Prize
Nominated for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize
"Exceptional . . . A poisoned world, with ruthless people, apparatchiks, Stakhanovites, rude, cruel, anxious chancers, and all subtly alien, quite without the American gene."-Michael Hofmann, The Times Literary Supplement (A Best Book of the Year)
Set in the shifting landscape of contemporary China, this riveting, richly imagined collection explodes the country's cultural and social fault lines, revealing a nation accustomed to bitter struggle and the stranglehold of communism as it confronts a generation rife with the promise of unforeseen prosperity.
A wealthy factory owner-once a rural peasant-donates repeatedly to earthquake relief efforts, but digs in his heels when government pressure requires him to give even more; 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.