cover image Gods of Want

Gods of Want

K-Ming Chang. One World, $27 (224p) ISBN 978-0-593-24158-5

Chang (Bestiary) returns with a dazzling collection of stories within stories that draw on old myths to embody the heartache and memories of Asian American women. In “The Chorus of Dead Cousins,” the unnamed narrator is constantly disrupted by the ghosts of her dead cousins and tries to escape them by traveling with her storm-chaser wife to record a tornado. In “Episodes of Hoarders,” a woman nicknamed “little crab” grieves over her dead hoarder grandmother. A wild mother-in-law repeatedly pretends to die and makes married life a living nightmare for the protagonist of “Xífù,” who envies her lesbian daughter for being unattached to men. In “Anchor,” a young woman struggles with the verbal abuse of her aunt, who raised her after her mother died during childbirth. She’s also haunted by the ghost of a girl her aunt accidentally shot many years earlier, has delicate conversations with a nun at a nearby temple, and searches for the old toy gun her brother lost before he left for the military. Chang’s bold conceits and potent imagery evoke a raw, visceral power that captures feelings of deep longing and puts them into words. This stellar collection will leave readers hungry for more. Agent: Julia Kardon, HG Literary. (July)