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Bliss Montage


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About the Author

Ling Ma is a writer hailing from Fujian, Utah and Kansas. She is the author of the novel Severance, which received the Kirkus Prize, the Whiting Award and the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award. She lives in Chicago with her family.


'Ling Ma is a master at subverting expectations. The stories in this collection progress in a pleasantly disorienting way, drifting through dreamlike scenarios that are at turns nightmarish, queasy, funny, or some combination of all three. 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 *
'We know that the false and the true-like bliss and misery-are interlaced in the lifeworlds of globalized capitalism, but no one explores the affective contours and sensuous texture of that intermingling in the way Ling Ma does. In this riveting collection of stories, in which one is alternately startled, horrified, and delighted, Ma stands out once again as one of the most original writers of her generation.' * Sianne Ngai, author of Ugly Feelings *
'[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 *
'Elegantly labyrinthine stories that are very pleasurable to read.' * Roxane Gay *
'A lyrical, potent [book] that blends fantasy and reality to dazzling effect . . . Ma seamlessly blends the real and the unreal with astonishing confidence and care . . . Another triumph for Ma.' * BookPage (starred review) *
'A collection of short stories that subvert our deepest illusions about one's self . . . Unpredictable and sharp, Ma's writing is unlike any other.' * Pop Sugar *
'Dreamy stories, each with a foot in the fantastic and the other foot firmly in the appalling everyday.' * Lit Hub *
'[A] rich and capacious collection, a montage which begs to be viewed over and over again.' * Strange Horizons *
'This delightfully strange dip back into Ma's brain is as wonderful as you expect. It touches on what amounts to the greatest hits of human existence: friendship, love, the meaning of home and why we need each other. Read it. Just read it.' * Good Housekeeping *
'Strange, wonderful, and uniquely poignant. Ma's stark and pointed prose shines here, and each story deserves multiple readings, sure to supply newly discovered emotions each time.' * Tor.com *
'Surreal and jarring in the most sensational way...A fantastical collection that grows more and more captivating with each page.' * Booklist *
'[Ma] does not disappoint.' * Book Riot *
'Ma has a gift for deliciously surreal premises...Weird and wonderful, surreal and subversive, these stories prove that Ma is well on her way to a landmark career.' * Esquire *
'Undeniably compelling.' * Denizen *

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