Synopses & Reviews
The characters in Jess Row’s remarkable fiction inhabit “a city that can be like a mirage, hovering above the ground: skyscrapers built on mountainsides, islands swallowed in fog for days.” This is Hong Kong, where a Chinese girl and her American teacher explore the “blindness” of bats in an effort to locate the ghost of her suicidal mother; an American graduate student provokes a masseur into reliving the traumatic experience of the Cultural Revolution; a businessman falls in love with a prim bar hostess across the border, in Shenzhen, and finds himself helpless to dissolve the boundaries between them; a stock analyst obsessed with work drives her husband to attend a Zen retreat, where he must come to terms with his failing marriage.
Scrupulously imagined and psychologically penetrating, these seven stories shed light on the many nuances of race, sex, religion, and culture in this most mysterious of cities, even as they illuminate the most universal of human experiences.
In these exquisitely imagined stories, Jess Row's Hong Kong is a city filled with outsiders, where race, sex, religion, and culture collide to forge surprising connections. A Chinese girl and her American teacher attempt to understand the "blindness" of bats in an effort to locate the ghost of her suicidal mother. An American graduate student provokes a Chinese masseuse into recalling his traumatic experiences of the Cultural Revolution to unintended results. A Hong Kong businessman learns the limits of his potency when he falls in love with a prim Chinese girl from the provinces. These beautifully rendered tales provoke unexpected consequences and reverberate with universal truths.
In these exquisitely imagined stories, Row's Hong Kong is a city filled with outsiders, where race, sex, religion, and culture collide to forge surprising connections.
About the Author
Jess Row is a graduate of Yale University, and received his MFA from the University of Michigan. His stories have been included in the Best American Short Stories 2001 and 2003 anthologies, as well as in Ploughshares. He is the recipient of a 2003 Whiting Writers Award and an NEA grant. He lives in New York, where he is at work on a novel.