The theme of translation pulses through every story in the collection, which spans science fiction, magical realism, and what Liu has coined “silkpunk,” a science fiction-fantasy hybrid inspired by East Asian antiquity. The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories is a rare combination of lavish prose, characters in fascinating, unique situations, and heart-wrenching moments.
Enter J. Scott Brownlee—a poet from Llano, Texas and a founding member of The Localists, a literary collective that emphasizes place-based writing of personal witness, cultural memory, and the aesthetically marginalized working class—to disrupt the notion that poetry is for the elites.
Kafka’s surreal tale of sudden and shocking transformation has since become a staple framework of fiction. In his debut novel Blackass, Nigerian author A. Igoni Barrett puts a unique spin on Kafka’s idea: instead of a lowly clerk mutating into a giant insect, a young Nigerian man turns white overnight.