LONGLISTED FOR THE 2021 PEN/FAULKNER AWARD FOR FICTION
FINALIST FOR THE 2021 LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FOR LESBIAN FICTION
NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS' CHOICE
LONGLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE
Three generations of Taiwanese American women are haunted by the myths of their homeland in this blazing debut of one family's queer desires, violent impulses, and buried secrets.
One evening, Mother tells Daughter a story about a tiger spirit who lived in a woman's body. She was called Hu Gu Po, and she hungered to eat children, especially their toes. Soon afterwards, Daughter awakes with a tiger tail. And more mysterious events follow: holes in the backyard spit up letters penned by her grandmother; a visiting aunt arrives with snakes in her belly; a brother tests the possibility of flight. All the while, Daughter is falling for Ben, a neighbourhood girl with strange powers of her own. As the two young lovers translate the grandmother's letters, Daughter begins to understand that each woman in her family embodies a myth--and that she will have to bring her family's secrets to light in order to change their destiny.
With a poetic voice of crackling electricity, K-Ming Chang is an explosive young writer who combines the wit and fabulism of Helen Oyeyemi with the subversive storytelling of Maxine Hong Kingston. Tracing one family's history from Taiwan to America, from Arkansas to California, Bestiary is a novel of migration, queer lineages, and girlhood.