An updated and whimsical new take on what it means to be Canadian.
Featuring the Journey Prize-shortlisted story, “How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun?”
When asked in an interview about the Shanghai Sharks, the team that shaped his formative sporting years, Chinese basketball star Yao Ming responded, “how does a single blade of grass thank the sun?”. This collection of stories explores the personal and political histories of young Asian Canadian characters to explain their unique perspectives of the world, artfully fusing pure delusion and abstract perception with heartbreaking reality.
Doretta Lau’s stories feature the children and grandchildren of immigrants, transnational adoptees and multiracial adults who came of age in the 1990s – all struggling to find a place in the Western world and using the only language they know to express their hopes, fears and expectations.
Bespeak Audio Editions brings Canadian voices to the world with audiobook editions of some of the country’s greatest works of literature, performed by Canadian actors.
Doretta Lau is a journalist who covers arts and culture for Artforum, South China Morning Post, The Wall Street Journal Asia and Bazaar Art Hong Kong. She completed an MFA in Writing at Columbia University. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Event, Grain Magazine, Prairie Fire, Prism International, RicePaper, SubTerrain and Zen Monster. She splits her time between Vancouver and Hong Kong, where she is at work on a novel and a screenplay.
Published: May 2020
Originally published by: Nightwood Editions
“From Glenn Gould to Jeff Wall to an aspiring Miss Hong Kong, Doretta Lau has an imagination larger than the entire country of Canada, which is big. If you want to know how we live today, read this book!” — Gary Shteyngart, author of Little Failure and Super Sad True Love Story
“Doretta Lau may just be the one to usher in a new era of Can Lit. She finds an unforgettable beauty and strangeness in the lives of young gangsters, starlets, artists and runaways, and in doing so, offers an unforgettable portrait of our times. Every story in this groundbreaking collection is wildly inventive and fiercely intelligent, full of mystery and mischief.” — Rebecca Godfrey, author of The Torn Skirt and Under the Bridge
“Doretta Lau’s energetic and hilarious debut is a clever collage of race, rebellion, hot dogs and the art of Jeff Wall. In her world, a man accidentally auditions for a porno, and a young woman goes on a date with a dead man, who just happens to be Glenn Gould. It’s a world we should all live in — lively, unpredictably fun, and affably neurotic.” — Annie Choi, author of Shut Up, You're Welcome and Happy Birthday or Whatever