The Man with the Compound Eyes
When a tsunami sends a massive island made of trash crashing into the coast of Taiwan, two very different people--an outcast from a mythical country and a woman on the verge of suicide--are united in ways they never could have imagined. Intertwined with the story of their burgeoning friendship are the lives of others affected by the tsunami, from environmentalists to Taiwan's indigenous peoples--and, of course, the mysterious man with the compound eyes. A work of lyrical beauty that combines fantasy, reality, and dystopian environmental saga, here is the English-language debut of a new and exciting award-winning voice from Taiwan.
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About the Author
Wu Ming-Yi was born in 1971 in Taiwan, where he still lives. A writer, artist, professor, and environmental activist, he has been teaching literature and creative writing at National Dong Hwa University since 2000 and is now a professor in the Department of Chinese. Wu is the author of two books of nature writing, the second of which, The Way of Butterflies, was awarded the China Times Open Book Award in 2003. His debut novel, Routes in the Dream, was named one of the ten best Chinese-language novels of the year by Asian Weekly magazine. The Man with the Compound Eyes is his first book to be translated into English.
"Brilliant. . . . A haunting and evocative tale, beautifully told." --Hugh Howey, author of Wool"We haven't read anything like this novel. Ever. South America gave us magical realism--what is Taiwan giving us? A new way of telling our new reality, beautiful, entertaining, frightening, preposterous, true. . . . Wu Ming-Yi treats human vulnerability and the world's vulnerability with fearless tenderness." --Ursula K. Le Guin "A striking book. . . . It is science fiction . . . in the way that the best Margaret Atwood books are science fiction. . . . I couldn't put it down." --Jason Sheehan, NPR "Lyrical, haunting. . . . A heady mix of science fiction, fantasy, environmental fable and magical realism, the author had to create a genre entirely new for this singular, captivating book." --Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Astonishing. . . . A wonderful novel." --The Independent (London) "An earnest, politically conscious novel, anchored in ecological concerns and Taiwanese identity. . . . Beyond the book's ecological and scientific attributes, you can see a deft novelist's hand at work." --Tash Aw, The Guardian (London) "Imaginative and moving." --Financial Times
"[Ming-Yi is] reminiscent of Haruki Murakami, twisting the dreamlike into the curiously credible." --Times Literary Supplement (London) "Rich, dense and dripping with life. The book sings in the key of fable, but with the timbre of reality." --Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Fictional Universe
"An entrancing, multi-faceted elegy. . . . [Ming-Yi writes with] a poet's approach. . . . Full of painful, wonderful beauty." --The Rumpus
"Beautifully written and beautifully translated. . . . [Ming-Yi] guides us to see the entirety of experience as bumping flotsam in an unending ocean of life colliding and making a mess of things or making something new. . . . Lyric, simple, soft, the story crests and recedes and comes back again." --The Bloomington Sun-Current
"[Ming-Yi's] rollercoaster of a story is about wilderness, wildness, wonderment, love. . . . [The Man with the Compound Eyes includes] perhaps the best writing to ever come out of a Taiwan novel." --Taipei Times
"A gift. . . . Ming-Yi is a naturalist as well as a storyteller, and it is perhaps his greatest achievement that this novel creates a sense of solidarity not only between his human characters, but also between [the] humans and the animals and plants he describes with such fidelity." --FullStop
"Offering a heady dose of realism, surrealism, and magic realism, with several shots of allegory, award-winning Chinese author Wu [Ming-Yi] offers a work for 'literary fiction' readers, but not in the snobbish sense. It's really for any curious, intelligent reader." --Library Journal (starred review)