Things to Make and Break
By May-Lan Tan
A sublime and provocative debut from one of the UK's most exciting new writers, for fans of Miranda July, Carmen Maria Machado and Lydia Davis.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD
A motorcycle courier finds a cache of nude photos in her boyfriend's desk. The daughter of East German emigrants encounters her doppelgänger, who has crossed another cultural divide. Twin brothers fall for the same girl. When a stripper receives an enigmatic proposal from a client, she accepts, ignorant of its terms.
Shadows, doubles, and the ghosts of past and future lovers haunt these elegantly structured and often hallucinatory stories. The language is hypnotic, deadpan, intense; the sentences jewel-hard and sublime. Things to Make and Break is the work of a stylish, exuberant new voice in modern fiction.
'Quite dazzling' TLS
May-Lan Tan was born in Hong Kong, where her family had migrated from Indonesia. She lived in California before moving to London and now lives in Berlin.
She studied fine art at Goldsmiths and has worked professionally as a children's party entertainer, commercial illustrator, personal chef, artist's model, and medical secretary.
Her fiction has been published in Zoetrope: All-Story, The Atlas Review, Areté, and The Reader. Things to Make and Break was first published by CB Editions in 2014 when it was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.
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- Publication date:
28 Jun 2018
- Page count:
A visceral collection ... There's an irresistible tautness to Tan's writing style, and she looks at her characters with such clear-eyed sensitivity that, as a reader, you can barely tear your eyes away. — AnOther magazine