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.
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.