Set in the shifting landscape of contemporary China, Jack Livings’ story collection The Dog explodes the country’s cultural and social fault lines, revealing a nation accustomed to bitter struggle and the stranglehold of communism as it confronts a generation rife with the promise of unforeseen prosperity. In these stories, a wealthy factory owner – once a rural peasant – refuses to help the victims of an earthquake until his daughter starts a relief effort of her own; a marginalized by powerful Uyghur gangster clashes with his homosexual grandson; and a dogged journalist is forced to resign as young writers in “pink Izod golf shirts and knockoff Italian loafers” write his stories out from under him. As heartbreaking as it is hopeful, The Dog marks the debut of a startling and wildly imaginative new voice in fiction. Livings talks about his work tonight with Brigid Hughes, founding editor of the Brooklyn based literary magazine A Public Space, where some of these stories first appeared.
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