Things to Make and Break
These eleven short fictions evoke the microcosmic worlds every human relationship contains. A woman is captivated by the stories her boyfriend tells about his exes. A faltering artist goes on a date with a married couple. Twin brothers work out their rivalry via the girl next door. In every one of these tales, we meet indelibly real and unforgettable people, a cast of rebels and dreamers trying to transform themselves, forge new destinies, or simply make the moment last.
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About the Author
ELLE, "The 28 Best Books to Read in Fall 2018"
Library Journal, "Top Short Fiction For Fall"
"A brilliant and daring collection." --The New York Times
"With this provocative debut, Tan proves herself a sharp chronicler of contemporary romance." --Publishers Weekly
"There's plenty of darkness and a sprinkling of magic, and these strange, flinty, cigarette-stained narratives speed by, offering lots of surface tension and compelling deeper passions." --The Guardian
"Visceral and demanding; an unsettling collection that knocks you off balance." --Kirkus
"This book turns your senses so sharply it's hard not to feel thankful for it--how is it possible to have missed these moments before?" --Los Angeles Review of Books
"A story collection designed to unsettle in the most incisive, breathtaking way, May-Lan Tan's Things to Make and Break is a razor-sharp example of the strange behaviors of human beings." --Nylon
"Entertaining reading from a writer worth watching." --Library Journal
"Exhilarating." --Literary Hub
"Tan is a cinematic writer in the same way some directors are literary--think David Lynch at his most Guignol." --Times Literary Supplement
"The thirteen stories found in these two books are a fantastic introduction to a writer in the process of teaching us new ways of reading." --Vol. 1 Brooklyn
"The desires sparking in Things to Make and Break spark again and again--as individual as heartbeats, as intertangled as cigarette smoke around fingers." --Arkansas International
"Things to Make and Break is omnisexual, and it's mind-blowingly good." --PANK
"Things to Make and Break is at once about everyone and no one in particular." --The Harvard Crimson
"Tan leaves readers feeling liberated from conventional storytelling." --Bust
"One of the most disarming works of fiction you're likely to encounter anytime soon." --The Star Tribune
"These stories feel like they were written with a lit cigarette on the night wind. Tan has an imagination like a haunted carousel and each story here is like a ghost that wants only to talk to you. This is one of those debuts to remember, a name that bookmarks itself in your mind after the first story, or should--attention, as we say, must be paid. May-Lan Tan is here." --Alexander Chee