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This event is presented in partnership with Powell's Books (Portland, OR), Politics and Prose (Washington, D.C.), Brookline Booksmith (Brookline, MA), and BookPeople (Austin, TX).
Bliss Montage (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
A new creation by the author of Severance, Bliss Montage crashes through our carefully built mirages.
What happens when fantasy tears the screen of the everyday to wake us up? Could that waking be our end?
In Bliss Montage, Ling Ma brings us eight wildly di?erent tales of people making their way through the madness and reality of our collective delusions: love and loneliness, connection and possession, friendship, motherhood, the idea of home. A woman lives in a house with all her ex-boyfriends. A toxic friendship grows up around a drug that makes you invisible. An ancient ritual might heal you of anything—if you bury yourself alive. These and other scenarios investigate the ways that the outlandish and the ordinary are shockingly, deceptively, heartbreakingly alike.
Ling Ma is a writer hailing from Fujian, Utah, and Kansas. She is the author of the novel Severance, which received the Kirkus Prize, a Whiting Award, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. She lives in Chicago with her family.
Alexandra Kleeman is the author of the novel Something New Under the Sun, one of the New York Times’ Notable Books of 2021, Intimations, a short story collection, and the novel You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine. Her writing has been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, n+1, and The Guardian. She is an Assistant Professor at the New School and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Fiction.
Praise for Bliss Montage -
“Eight dreamy stories, each with a foot in the fantastic and the other foot firmly in the appalling everyday.” —Emily Temple, Lit Hub, “Most Anticipated Books of 2022”
“[A] rich and capacious collection, a montage which begs to be viewed over and over again.” —William Shaw, Strange Horizons
“[Bliss Montage] uses elements of the fantastic but grounds them in a reality that is more recognizably our own . . . The ideas of home and belonging recur throughout the collection . . . Ma also writes about motherhood and academic life and abusive relationships. These are rich themes, and [she] explores them with the logic of dreams . . . Haunting and artful.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“[A] fantastical and often brilliant collection . . . Enchanting, full of intelligence, dry humor, and an appealing self-awareness.” —Publishers Weekly
“[Ma] does not disappoint.” —Liberty Hardy, Book Riot, “Best New Short Story Collections”
“Ling Ma is a master at subverting expectations. Bliss Montage presents a strange and compelling intersection between stark realism and absurd fantasy. It all adds up to a uniquely satisfying reading experience.” —Nick Drnaso, author of Sabrina
“In this riveting collection of stories, by which one is alternately startled, horri?ed, and delighted, Ling Ma stands out once again as one of the most original writers of her generation.” —Sianne Ngai, author of Ugly Feelings