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list price: $21.95
edition:Paperback
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category: Fiction
published: June 2008
ISBN:9780887623820
publisher: Dundurn

Salt Fish Girl

by Larissa Lai

reviews: 0
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $21.95
edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback
category: Fiction
published: June 2008
ISBN:9780887623820
publisher: Dundurn
Description

Salt Fish Girl is the mesmerizing tale of an ageless female character who shifts shape and form through time and place. Told in the beguiling voice of a narrator who is fish, snake, girl, and woman - all of whom must struggle against adversity for survival - the novel is set alternately in nineteenth-century China and in a futuristic Pacific Northwest.

At turns whimsical and wry, Salt Fish Girl intertwines the story of Nu Wa, the shape-shifter, and that of Miranda, a troubled young girl living in the walled city of Serendipity circa 2044. Miranda is haunted by traces of her mother’s glamourous cabaret career, the strange smell of durian fruit that lingers about her, and odd tokens reminiscient of Nu Wa. Could Miranda be infected by the Dreaming Disease that makes the past leak into the present?

Framed by a playful sense of magical realism, Salt Fish Girl reveals a futuristic Pacific Northwest where corporations govern cities, factory workers are cybernetically engineered, middle-class labour is a video game, and those who haven’t sold out to commerce and other ills must fight the evil powers intent on controlling everything. Rich with ancient Chinese mythology and cultural lore, this remarkable novel is about gender, love, honour, intrigue, and fighting against oppression.

About the Author

Larissa Lai was born in La Jolla, California, grew up in St. John's, Newfoundland, and currently lives in Calgary. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Calgary and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. She was awarded an Astraea Foundation Emerging Writers Award in 1995. Her novel When Fox is a Thousand was first published by Press Gang Publishers in 1995; a new edition, featuring an afterword by the author, was published by Arsenal Pulp Press in 2004. In 2009, she published Automaton Biographies (Arsenal Pulp), her first solo poetry book that was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize at the BC Book Prizes. She is also the author of Salt Fish Girl (Thomas Allen Publishers, 2002), as well as a book-length collaborative long poem with Rita Wong called sybil unrest, published by Line Books in 2009.

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Editorial Reviews

A remarkable debut. It is a magical book.

— Books in Canada

Salt Fish Girl is a well written and highly inventive novel.

— Georgia Straight

Majestically written, with wild but contained imagery.

— Vancouver Sun

Lai has an excellent command of structure making the complex storytelling seem effortless, and the book is full of startling insights into dysfunctional human behaviour.

— The Calgary Herald

A particularly acute pleasure.

— The Advocate

She sweeps our imagination with the flick of a fox's tail, the gleam of an eye.

— Hiromi Goto

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