Home Sickness

Chih-Ying Lay

Connecting is not easy, but proximity is unbearable. The characters in these brilliant and intense stories are longing for escape, but they inevitably find themselves homesick.

Chih-Ying Lay, a Taiwanese-Canadian, explores our desperate need for beauty and belonging–-and the cost when what is found is the opposite of both. Lay’s characters are outsiders, whether queer, indigenous, unloved, or lost, and each discovers that home is not the sanctuary it was meant to be. Sometimes, however, they find a place to call their very own, as if to tell the reader: You can, too.

"Good writers create worlds -- great writers, glittering constellations. Chih-Ying Lay's debut collection makes my head spin. Diamond-hard, harrowing, melancholy, bawdy, erudite, his stories stream with blood, sperm, tears, piss, sweat, passion, loss. A medical student lovingly dissects the body of a dear friend who was a political dissident; a twisted sexual triangle develops between an artist, her nine-year-old son, and a day labourer; a young man whose mother is in chemo develops sympathetic symptoms all his own. By turns blunt, cynical, yearning, delicate, wounding, Home Sickness is the work of a true original. As one queer writer to another, I salute an astonishing new talent."
Will Aitken, Antigone Undone

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