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list price: $21.95
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category: Fiction
published: Jun 2008
ISBN:9780887623820
publisher: Dundurn
imprint: Thomas Allen Publishers

Salt Fish Girl

A Novel

by Larissa Lai

tagged: literary, contemporary women, fairy tales, folk tales, legends & mythology
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $21.95
edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback
category: Fiction
published: Jun 2008
ISBN:9780887623820
publisher: Dundurn
imprint: Thomas Allen Publishers
Description

Salt Fish Girl is the mesmerizing tale of an ageless female character who shifts shape and form through time and place. Told in the beguiling voice of a narrator who is fish, snake, girl, and woman - all of whom must struggle against adversity for survival - the novel is set alternately in nineteenth-century China and in a futuristic Pacific Northwest.

At turns whimsical and wry, Salt Fish Girl intertwines the story of Nu Wa, the shape-shifter, and that of Miranda, a troubled young girl living in the walled city of Serendipity circa 2044. Miranda is haunted by traces of her mother’s glamourous cabaret career, the strange smell of durian fruit that lingers about her, and odd tokens reminiscient of Nu Wa. Could Miranda be infected by the Dreaming Disease that makes the past leak into the present?

Framed by a playful sense of magical realism, Salt Fish Girl reveals a futuristic Pacific Northwest where corporations govern cities, factory workers are cybernetically engineered, middle-class labour is a video game, and those who haven’t sold out to commerce and other ills must fight the evil powers intent on controlling everything. Rich with ancient Chinese mythology and cultural lore, this remarkable novel is about gender, love, honour, intrigue, and fighting against oppression.

About the Author

Larissa Lai is the author of three novels, The Tiger Flu (Lambda Literary Award winner), Salt Fish Girl, and When Fox is a Thousand, and three poetry books, Sybil Unrest (with Rita Wong), Automaton Biographies (shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Prize), and the forthcoming Iron Goddess of Mercy. She is also the winner of Lambda Literary's Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize, and an Astraea Award. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Calgary where she directs the Insurgent Architectsâ?? House for Creative Writing..

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Editorial Reviews

She sweeps our imagination with the flick of a fox's tail, the gleam of an eye.

— Hiromi Goto

Salt Fish Girl is a well written and highly inventive novel.

— Georgia Straight

A particularly acute pleasure.

— The Advocate

Majestically written, with wild but contained imagery.

— Vancouver Sun

A remarkable debut. It is a magical book.

— Books in Canada

Lai has an excellent command of structure making the complex storytelling seem effortless, and the book is full of startling insights into dysfunctional human behaviour.

— The Calgary Herald