A young translator living in Toronto frequently travels abroad—to Hong Kong, Macau, Prague, Tokyo—often with his unnamed lover. In restaurants and hotel rooms, the couple begin telling folk tales to each other, perhaps as a way to fill the undefined space between them. Theirs is a comic and enigmatic relationship in which emotions are often muted and sometimes masked by verbal play and philosophical questions, and further complicated by the woman’s frequent unexplained disappearances.
You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked. is an intimate novel of memory and longing that challenges Western tropes and Orientalism. Embracing the playful surrealism of Haruki Murakami and the atmospheric narratives of filmmaker Wong Kar-wai, Sheung-King’s debut is at once lyrical and punctuated, and wholly unique, and marks the arrival of a bold new voice in Canadian literature.
Sheung-King is a writer and educator. His work has appeared in PRISM International, The Shanghai Literary Review, and The Humber Literary Review, among others. He is currently a lecturer at the University of Guelph and Sheridan College. You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked. is Sheung-King’s debut book. It was longlisted for CBC Canada Reads in 2021. Originally from Hong Kong, Sheung-King lives in Toronto.
“Sheung-King has written a wonderfully unexpected and maverick love story but also a novel of ideas that hopscotches between Toronto, Macau, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Prague. It is enchanting, funny, and a joy to read.” — Kyo Maclear, author of Birds Art Life
“A tale that oozes the horror and confusion of love, while staying somehow still desperately romantic. It gives the cold shoulder to the dominant gaze and its demands to control the Asian body, carving out a thrilling space beyond whiteness. I didn’t want it to end.” — Thea Lim, author of An Ocean of Minutes, finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize
“This is a conversational novel, yet Sheung-King is equally interested in all the places language can’t reach. Through his precise prose, he conjures the inarticulable emotions of longing and heartbreak. If you have ever been young and in love, this book will transport you there again.” — Vancouver Sun
“This rare, arresting book asks the reader to hold a pair of lovers close. A beautiful, intelligent portrait of estrangement and intimacy.” — Chatelaine