The Dog

by Jack Livings

eBooks of the Month Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

The Dog Synopsis

Set in the shifting landscape of contemporary China, Jack Living's debut story collection, The Dog, explodes the country's cultural and social fault lines. In this riveting, richly imagined collection of stories, a wealthy factory owner - once a rural peasant - refuses to help the victims of an earthquake until his daughter starts a relief effort of her own; a powerful Uyghur gangster clashes with his homosexual grandson; and a man struggles to undertake a physically impossible task - constructing a giant crystal sarcophagus for the dead leader. With spare, penetrating prose, Livings gives shape to the anonymous faces in the crowd and illuminates the tensions, ironies, and possibilities of life in modern China. As heartbreaking as it is hopeful, The Dog marks the debut of a startling and wildly imaginative new voice in fiction. An incisive - and highly impressive - debut. Livings demonstrates his virtuosity as a storyteller, his ability to immerse us instantly in the lives of his characters, to conjure the daily reality of the very different worlds they inhabit. He's a sort of Chekhovian observer...The stories bristle with prickly details and barbed observations that make them stick in the reader's mind. (New York Times). A brilliant and promising debut. With its tales of volatile protagonists struggling to survive in contemporary China, The Dog should attract widespread attention and praise...Any unfamiliarity with the Chinese locales and culture is quickly eased by Livings' imaginative yet realistic scenarios and vividly drawn characters. (Booklist). Livings writes so simply, and so well...These stories are sneaky, almost subliminal, in their ambitions and connections. (Kirkus Reviews (starred review)). A socially complex and pitch-perfect account of modernization's grueling aftermath. (Publishers Weekly). Jack Livings' stories have appeared in A Public Space, The Paris Review, StoryQuarterly, Tin House, The New Delta Review, and The Best American Short Stories, and have been awarded two Pushcart Prizes. Livings received his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. He lives in New York.

The Dog Press Reviews

'Stunning. The Dog bristles with prickly details and barbed observations ... An incisive - and highly impressive - debut' New York Times


'What gives these stories their dark, upsetting grandeur is in every case the luminosity of hope, no matter how fragile, how vulnerable, how very nearly extinguished' Paul Harding, 2010 Pulitzer Prize winning author of 'Tinkers'

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780241970126
Publication date: 02/07/2015
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780241970126
Publication date: 2nd July 2015
Author: Jack Livings
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 240 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Jack Livings

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