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Book Title

Owlish

Subtitle
A Novel
Author 1
Dorothy Tse; Translated from the Chinese by Natascha Bruce
Body
With your face covered, sneaking into a city you thought you knew, are you still yourself? Or have you crossed to another world, where the streets are unpredictable and the people strangers, where you might at any moment run into some unknown dream version of yourself?

In a city called Nevers, there lives a professor of literature called Q. He has a dull marriage and a lackluster career, but also a scrumptious collection of antique dolls locked away in his cupboard. And soon Q lands his crowning acquisition: a music box ballerina named Aliss who has tantalizingly sprung to life. Guided by his mysterious friend Owlish and inspired by an inexplicably familiar painting, Q embarks on an all-consuming love affair with Aliss, oblivious to the protests spreading across the university that have left his classrooms all but empty.
 
The mountainous city of Nevers is itself a mercurial character with concrete flesh, glimmering new construction, and “colonial flair.” Having fled there as a child refugee, Q thought he knew the faces of the city and its people, but Nevers is alive with secrets and shape-shifting geographies. The winner of a 2021 PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant, Owlish is a fantastically eerie debut novel that is also a bold exploration of life under oppressive regimes.

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List Price
$16.00
ISBN
ISBN
978-1-64445-235-6
Format
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
Publication Date
Subject
Subject
Pages
Pages
224
Trim Size
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.25
Keynote
A professor falls in love with a mechanical ballerina in a mordant and uncanny fable of contemporary Hong Kong

About the Author

Dorothy  Tse
Dorothy Tse is a Hong Kong writer who has received the Hong Kong Book Prize, the Hong Kong Biennial Award for Chinese Literature, and Taiwan’s Unitas New Fiction Writers’ Award. Her first book in English, Snow and Shadow (translated by Nicky Harman), was long-listed for the Best Translated Book Award. She is the co-founder of the literary journal Fleurs des Lettres.
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  Natascha Bruce translates fiction from Chinese. Her work includes Lonely Face by Yeng Pway Ngon, Bloodline by Patigül, Lake Like a Mirror by Ho Sok Fong and Mystery Train by Can Xue. Her forthcoming translation of Owlish by Dorothy Tse was awarded a 2021 PEN/Heim grant. 
More by author

Praise

  • Owlish is so delightfully creepy, wonderful and strange—I loved it.”—Camilla Grudova, author of Children of Paradise
  • “A magical and potent tale for these tyrannical times.”—NoViolet Bulawayo, author of Glory
  • “Dorothy Tse is a magnificent historian of unreal places. . . . Her parallel worlds and paradoxes brilliantly illuminate our own reality, with all its fictions masquerading as facts (and vice versa). Boundlessly creative, richly philosophical—I loved this book.”—Joanna Kavenna, author of Zed
  • “Beguilingly eerie, richly textured, the pages of Owlish are drenched in strange beauty and menace. Like all the best fairy tales, it reveals the dark truths that we would rather not look at directly, and does so with a surreal and singular clarity.”—Sophie Mackintosh, author of Cursed Bread
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