Building on the success of the Journey Prize-shortlisted title story, the stories of How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun? present an updated and whimsical new take on what it means to be Canadian. Lau alludes to the personal and political histories of a number of young Asian Canadian characters to explain their unique perspectives of the world, artfully fusing pure delusion and abstract perception with heartbreaking reality.
Correspondingly, the book's title refers to an interview with Chinese basketball star Yao Ming, who when asked about the Shanghai Sharks, the team that shaped his formative sporting years, responded, "How does a single blade of grass thank the sun?" 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.
"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