Last of Her Name
DescriptionWinner of the 2020 PEN America Literary Award for Debut Short Story Collection, Mimi Lok's Last of Her Name narrates the interconnected lives of diasporic women from '80s UK suburbia to WWII Hong Kong and contemporary California
Mimi Lok's Last of Her Name is an eye-opening story collection about the intimate, interconnected lives of diasporic women and the histories they are born into. Set in a wide range of time periods and locales, including '80s UK suburbia, WWII Hong Kong and contemporary urban California, the book features an eclectic cast of outsiders: among them, an elderly housebreaker, wounded lovers and kung-fu fighting teenage girls. Last of Her Name offers a meditation on female desire and resilience, family and the nature of memory.
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Mimi Lok's Last of Her Name is an eye-opening story collection about the intimate, interconnected lives of diasporic women and the histories they are born into.--The Rumpus
Lok's attention to detail and reflective connections make for an intimate and layered experience, for the characters and their readers.--Karla Strand "Ms. Magazine "
Lok writes with the self-assuredness of a literary veteran and the insight of someone who's spent a lifetime studying how humans interact.--Michael Schaub "NPR "
Lok has written the kind of understated book you catch yourself thinking about weeks after you finish it. Absorbing and deeply human, these characters -- who either live in China or are of the Chinese diaspora -- feel more like people you might've known than like fictitious renderings of Lok's imagination. A pleasure to read and mull over for days.--Siobhan Jones "New York Times: Book Review "
Assured and keenly observed stories about the devastations--large and small--that transpire between people. Rendered in prose that's no-nonsense, darkly funny, and lovely all at once, Lok's stories carry quiet but undeniable impact. This is a book that stays with you long after you've put it down. It makes you wonder, as good books should, what on earth is going on in each of our brains.--Rachel Khong "Craft Literary "
These stories are tough, gorgeous and humane. They feel universal and also deeply specific. I loved the brash intelligence, the way this debut collection can be fun, funny and incredibly serious. How many versions of each one of us are there? One hopes Lok will have time to find more.--Los Angeles Times
Mimi Lok's "Last of Her Name" is a smorgasbord of powerful writing and angsty emotion wrapped into eight meditations on what it means to feel slightly out of place ... her stories are insightful, painfully honest and deeply unsettling -- a dynamite combination in a new writer on the scene.--Alexis Hurling "San Francisco Chronicle "
[An] impressive debut. ... Lok is an expert at peeking into the souls of those who have been displaced or disregarded ... this touching collection is easy to pick up and hard to put down.--Publishers Weekly
In her debut story collection, Last of Her Name, Mimi Lok is not interested in providing answers or pat endings. The stories open up, instead, in the way of myth or fairy tale, transcending the story itself.--Ploughshares
Through eight provocative stories, Lok's sharp gaze transforms disconnection and longing with compelling results.--Booklist
A mesmerizing and deeply felt debut that affirms all that is great about short fiction. 'The Woman In the Closet' has to be considered a new classic. Lok's collection brings startling intimacy to her characters, all of them struggling with dislocation and belonging within the Chinese diaspora. I can't think of a collection that better speaks to this moment of global movement and collective rupture from homes and history, and the struggle to find meaning despite it all.--Dave Eggers
Whether in seven pages or fifty, Lok brings each story to life in clear, precise prose, and draws the reader's eye to strangeness and injustice without slipping into a didactic tone.--Poets & Writers
In this eclectic and humorous debut collection, Lok intimately explores the lives of her Chinese diasporic characters as they wander through a lonely world, searching for emotional connection.--Ruth Mina Buchwald "Electric Literature "
Mimi Lok's collection Last of Her Name features empathetically drawn characters whose lonely lives haunt the reader long after the book is closed.--Largehearted Boy
Are disconnection and loneliness inevitable side effects of modern life or of living in diaspora? These stories [in Mimi Lok's Last of Her Name] raise intriguing questions but do not attempt any simple answers.--Kirkus Reviews
Spanning all different times and places, this moving collection should not be overlooked when it comes to literary award season.--Cleveland Scene
A 2020 PEN America Literary Awards Finalist for Debut Short Story Collection
The stories in Mimi Lok's Last of Her Name are more than just deeply felt, richly imagined, and darkly comic; they feel necessary. In these pages, we find fractals. The microscopic contains the macro. The collection ranges all over our globe while distilling breathtaking, tiny moments of tremendous significance.--Editors at Pen America "Pen America "