Winner of the Lambda Literary Award
Nominated for The Otherwise Award and The Sunburst Award
“Blending the surreal and the entirely possible, The Tiger Flu is majestically compelling. A must-read.” – Eden Robinson, author of Son of a Trickster
In this visionary novel by Larissa Lai – her first in sixteen years – a community of parthenogenic women, sent into exile by patriarchal and corporate Salt Water City, go to war against disease, technology, and an economic system that threatens them with extinction.
Kirilow is a doctor apprentice whose lover, Peristrophe, is a “starfish,” a woman who can regenerate her own limbs and organs, which she uses to help her clone sisters whose organs are failing. When a denizen from Salt Water City suffering from a mysterious flu comes into their midst, Peristrophe becomes infected and dies, prompting Kirilow to travel to the city, where the flu is now a pandemic, to find a new starfish who will help save her sisters. There, Kirilow meets Kora, a girl-woman desperate to save her family from the epidemic. Kora has everything Kirilow is looking for, except the will to abandon her own family. But before Kirilow can convince her, both are kidnapped by a mysterious group of men to serve as test subjects for a new technology that can cure the mind of the body.
Bold, beautiful, and wildly imaginative, The Tiger Flu is at once a saga of two women heroes, a cyberpunk thriller, and a convention-breaking cautionary tale – a striking metaphor for our complicated times.
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Larissa Lai is the author of the novels When Fox Is a Thousand, Salt Fish Girl, and the Lambda Literary Award-winning The Tiger Flu. She has also published two poetry collections, sybil unrest and Automaton Biographies, and a critical nonfiction book, Slanting I, Imagining We. A Canada Research Chair at the University of Calgary, she directs the Insurgent Architects’ House for Creative Writing.
Published: May 2020
Originally published by: Arsenal Pulp Press
“A compelling cyberpunk thriller … Lai draws inspiration from the feminist science fiction of Marge Piercy and Joanna Russ, exploring questions of reproduction, lesbian separatism, and biopolitics in the often absurdist and even surrealist world of Saltwater City.” — Booklist
“This is an ambitious work and Lai is wonderfully successful in her effort to mash up cinematic science fiction, magical realism elements and fascinating characters with a fierce concern for gender and racial justice to produce an impressive text.” — Vancouver Sun
“Starting with an atmospheric opening page, in The Tiger Flu, Larissa Lai goes wholly maximalist in her world-building … A surprisingly enchanting vision of post-Peak Oil dystopia.” — Toronto Star
“Lush and detailed …The novel's genre itself revels in the technology of hybridity. The Tiger Flu is unnerving and epic in its scope as Lai entwines an intersectional eco-feminist critique with exhilarating action.” — Room
“A compelling read about ostracization, disease, technology, tolerance, and survival in a society facing extinction from a horrific pandemic.” — The Advocate, “Best Books of the Year”