Love in the New Millennium Can Xue, Annelise Finegan Wasmoen, Eileen Myles

The Margellos World Republic of Letters
Publication date:
22 Jan 2019
Yale University Press
288 pages: 229 x 152 x 22mm
1 b-w illus.
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The most ambitious work of fiction by a writer widely considered the most important novelist working in China today

In this darkly comic novel, a group of women inhabits a world of constant surveillance, where informants lurk in the flower beds and false reports fly. Conspiracies abound in a community that normalizes paranoia and suspicion. Some try to flee—whether to a mysterious gambling bordello or to ancestral homes that can be reached only underground through muddy caves, sewers, and tunnels. Others seek out the refuge of Nest County, where traditional Chinese herbal medicines can reshape or psychologically transport the self. Each life is circumscribed by buried secrets and transcendent delusions.
Can Xue’s masterful love stories for the new millennium trace love’s many guises—satirical, tragic, transient, lasting, nebulous, and fulfilling—against a kaleidoscopic backdrop of commerce and industry, fraud and exploitation, and sex and romance drawn from the East and the West.

Can Xue is the pseudonym of the new experimental author Deng Xiaohua, born in 1953. Formerly a tailor, she began writing fiction in 1983. Annelise Finegan Wasmoen is academic director and clinical assistant professor of translation at NYU School of Professional Studies. Eileen Myles is a poet, novelist, and art journalist living in New York City and Marfa, Texas. Afterglow (a dog memoir) was published by Grove in September 2017 and Evolution (poems) is out in fall 2018.

 “In this dreamlike novel . . . amid increasingly bizarre scenarios, appearances give way to hidden, otherworldly layers.”—New Yorker

“I typed this review in one go in 30 minutes or so, and it’s not often I’m this enthused to share as much about a book after finishing. I think it attests to the novel’s greatness.”—Tommi Laine, Literary Noise

Best Translated Book Award long list finalist in the Fiction category, sponsored by Three Percent

"Love in the New Millennium is, as always with Can Xue’s work, a marvel.  She is one of the most innovative and important contemporary writers in China and, in my opinion, in world literature."—Bradford Morrow, author of The Prague Sonata