The Kite Family
ISBN : 978-988-16047-9-8
236 pages, 5.75″ x 8.25″
A patient escapes from an asylum to spend his life as the perfect mannequin in a department store display; when living alone is outlawed, a woman who resides quietly with her cat is assigned by bureaucrats to a role in an artificially created “family”; a luckless man transforms himself into a chair so people can, literally, sit on him. These are just a few of the inhabitants of Hon Lai-chu’s stories, where surreal charac-ters struggle to carve out space for freedom and individuality in an absurd world. The Chinese version of The Kite Family won the New Writer’s Novella first prize from Taiwan’s Unitas Literary Association, was named one of 2008’s Books of the Year by Taiwan’s China Times, was selected as one of the Top 10 Chinese Novels Worldwide, and was awarded a Translation Grant from the US National Endowment for the Arts.
“The Kite Family showcases the work of Hon Lai-chu, a wildly creative Hong Kong writer. The stories, elegantly translated by Andrea Lingenfelter, range from the torn-from-the-headlines dystopian anxieties of ‘Notes on an Epidemic’ to the more surrealistic ‘Forrest Woods, Chair,’ which takes themes from Kafka’s Metamorphosis in an engagingly novel direction. The book benefits greatly from an introduction by Lingenfelter, which both explains her approach to rendering Hon’s prose into English and shows how the author’s stories fit into Hong Kong’s fascinating and globally too-little-known literary landscape.” —Jeffrey Wasserstrom, author of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know
“Evocatively written and expertly translated, these Hong Kong stories will draw you into Hon Lai-chu’s surreal and yet recognizable world.” —Howard Goldblatt, translator of Nobel laureate Mo Yan