Product Details

$14.95  $13.90
Nightboat Books
Publish Date
4.6 X 7.7 X 0.5 inches | 0.25 pounds

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About the Author

Joon Oluchi Lee lives and writes in femininity and feminism. The author of two works of fiction, 94 (Publication Studio, 2015) and Lace Sick Bag (Publication Studio, 2013), as well as various essays on queer theory, feminism, and fiction writing, Joon also blogged about life as a femme feminist gay male at Joon is Associate Professor of Gender Studies and Creative Writing at Rhode Island School of Design, and with his partner Roderick, co-parent of their rescue dog Nella.


"Neotenica is sentence-level sexy and surprisingly funny, my kind of thriller. Joon Oluchi Lee cracks open a window onto a very familiar Bay Area, yet one I've never before seen in fiction. I am obsessed with this book!"--Andrea Lawlor, author of Paul Takes The Form of A Mortal Girl

"In Neotenica, observation is a way of life, a structure of not-quite-feeling. Wielding aestheticism as a gleeful tool for cultural inquiry, Joon Oluchi Lee undermines the ambivalence of mostly-affluent twentysomethings in the multicultural city by cataloging their detachment. Each chapter offers its own path between awareness and self-expression, boredom and curiosity, sensation and stasis. Clinically described, sexually candid, and viscerally detailed, this is a novel in fragments that builds toward a sadness almost like hope. If you know what this book is when you finish it, then you might not have really finished it."--Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of Sketchtasy

"Hot, electric, and funny as all hell. This tiny kaleidoscopic explosion of a book is a beautiful dream examining desire, race, tenderness, class, femininity, family, children, and dogs. Inject Neotenica into your fucking veins."--Casey Plett, author of Little Fish

"Neotenica resists easy codifications. Through their refracting, and converging identities, the characters of Neotenica function in tandem; a warm ball of sweet matter hurtling through space and yearning for the freedom to exist as itself, not as its facsimile."--June Lei, The Brooklyn Rail

"Neotenica is a tiny masterpiece. It's rowdy, alarming, sexy, and gives a deeper exploration of the messy, discursive texture of everyday life. Joon Oluchi Lee has written a novel with such verve and tenderness that you will become obsessed by page one."--Cristina Rodriguez, Deep Vellum Books

"Lee (Lace Sick Bag) trains a droll, analytical eye on sex, desire, and gender in this delicious avant-garde novella."--Publishers Weekly

"Neotenica trolls desire like a twitter thread but it reads with far more presence and vulnerability. This novella, the third work of fiction by Joon Oluchi Lee is a hot read of the mundane as characters encounter one another in details glowing under blacklight. Told in vignettes, the narratives pivot around the only named character: Young Ae, a Korean born ballet dancer and kaleidoscopes through her straight, though gay-cruising, Korean American husband; his hook up; her hook up; a flirtation; a dog; a child. It is a book meant to be answerless and a temperate tangle but the impressions left unearth sensation and possibility through embracing femininity and altering --craft-wise and desire wise--where a climax can be."--Corinne Manning, Lambda Literary

"In all, Neotenica presents itself as a balletic maze of grace and wonder in the minutiae; the erotic poetry of the body and its attendant quality of tactility; the sometimes chuckling, stark but never unpleasant, clear-eyed but not vulgar...What remains is a certain glib playfulness and delight in sensation that makes Neotenica unpretentious but uncavalier, light-footed yet unflinching, and genuinely surprising."--Marilyn Tran, Singapore Unbound

"A totally original narrative that could perhaps only be published by a dynamic, independent press."--Stephen Sohn, Asian American Literature Fans

"A series of vignettes from the life of a married couple in early 2000s SF. A dainty 100 pages of characters exploring identity & navigating various things like random encounters, casual sex, arranged marriage, public transit. It's filthy and funny and unexpected and entirely delightful."--Book Snack