When Fox Is a Thousand is a lyrical, magical story, a spirited retelling of the old Chinese folktale of the Fox. In Larissa Lai's compelling first novel, a fox spirit comes to haunt the oddly named Artemis Wong, a young woman living in Vancouver. The fox brings with her the history of another haunting, that of the T'ang Dynasty poet Yu Hsuan-Chi, who was accused, perhaps wrongly, of having murdered the young maid servant who once worked for her.
One part history, one part fairytale, one part urban discontent, this delightful novel cracks open all preconceptions of Asian women, gender, sexuality, family, faith, and the flow of time. Smart, funny, and fully-imagined, When Fox Is a Thousand is beautiful, enchanting, and composed with a sure narrative hand. Lai's potent imagination and considerable verbal skill result in a tale that continues to haunt long after the story is told.
First published to wide acclaim in 1995 (a finalist for the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award) and out of print since 2001, this new edition of When Fox Is a Thousand, published by Arsenal Pulp Press for the first time, features a new afterword by the author.
Majestically written, with wild but contained imagery.
A magical book . . . Lai moves with a sure hand . . . her potent imagination and considerable verbal skill result in a tale that continues to haunt long after the book is closed.
-Books in Canada
A sure-footed writer and teller of tales, Lai takes the reader on a magnificent journey through layers of time, myth, and imagery.
A particularly acute pleasure.