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The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories Hardcover – March 8, 2016

4.6 out of 5 stars 651 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Questions of identity galvanize the 15 stories in this outstanding collection of fantastical fiction, giving them extraordinary gravity and resonance. In "Good Hunting," the human companion of a supernatural creature from Chinese folklore contrives an ingenious way to help her adapt to a steampunk future. The title tale (which swept the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards), in which a mother expresses love for her son through the magically animated origami animals she creates, is one of several in which the author uses Chinese-American experience to explore how all individuals assimilate into society. Whether writing about Asian culture and history, as in "The Literomancer" and "All the Flavors," or extraterrestrial civilizations, as in "The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species" and "An Advanced Reader's Picture Book of Comparative Cognition," Liu (The Grace of Kings) universalizes the experiences of his characters, who realize at some point, as the protagonist of "Mono No Aware" does, that "we are defined by the places that we hold in the web of others' lives." Gracefully written and often profoundly moving, these stories are high-water marks of contemporary speculative fiction. (Mar.)\n

Review

"I know this is going to sound hyperbolic, but when I’m reading Ken Liu’s stories, I feel like I’m reading a once-in-a-generation talent. I’m in awe." -- Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Questions of identity galvanize the 15 stories in this outstanding collection of fantastical fiction, giving them extraordinary gravity and resonance. In "Good Hunting," the human companion of a supernatural creature from Chinese folklore contrives an ingenious way to help her adapt to a steampunk future. The title tale (which swept the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards), in which a mother expresses love for her son through the magically animated origami animals she creates, is one of several in which the author uses Chinese-American experience to explore how all individuals assimilate into society. Whether writing about Asian culture and history, as in "The Literomancer" and "All the Flavors," or extraterrestrial civilizations, as in "The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species" and "An Advanced Reader's Picture Book of Comparative Cognition," Liu (The Grace of Kings) universalizes the experiences of his characters, who realize at some point, as the protagonist of "Mono No Aware" does, that "we are defined by the places that we hold in the web of others' lives." Gracefully written and often profoundly moving, these stories are high-water marks of contemporary speculative fiction. (Mar.) -- Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW ― Feb 29, 2016

These remarkable stories highlight Liu’s themes of family, love, and politics and gathered in one collection pack an even bigger punch. Those who revere shorter speculative works will definitely want this book. -- *STARRED REVIEW, Library Journal ― February 26th, 2016

Emotionally unpredictable, Liu's stories take off in unexpected directions and arrive at destinations both startling and satisfying. -- Shelf Awareness, *STARRED REVIEW ― March 25th, 2016

Selected as “14 of the Most Buzzed About Books of 2016” -- BuzzFeed ― March 30th, 2016

Liu’s wondrous tales eloquently explore the place where ordinary and the extraordinary meet. -- The Washington Post ― March 22nd, 2016

“Like Octavia E. Butler, Liu probes our ethical wounds, examining injustice and oppression from some uncomfortable angles. For readers unfamiliar with Liu’s debut, this new short-story collection offers an excellent introduction to his strengths.” -- Nisi Shawl ― , The Seattle Times)

There is a dark and sometimes shocking edge to some of these stories, but nearly all are provocative, and several are brilliant. -- The Chicago Tribune ― April 6th, 2016

Liu's book compiles brilliant stories written in several different, overlapping modes, a technically dazzling collection of compulsively readable narratives, presenting characters with agonizing moral dilemmas and never forgetting the heart. -- The Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee) ― March 18th, 2016

Liu’s talent in evoking atmosphere and culture make these tales more than stories – they’re journeys. If you’re looking to dream of another world, or reflect on our own, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of The Paper Menagerie. -- Muggle.net ― March 8th, 2016

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Gallery / Saga Press; 1st edition (March 8, 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 464 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1481442546
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1481442541
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 950L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.15 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1.7 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 651 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
651 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 14, 2018
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30 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on August 30, 2016
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25 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 7, 2017
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6 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

OTT
5.0 out of 5 stars a moving menagerie
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 5, 2016
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One person found this helpful
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Nash2291
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant..!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 27, 2016
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Jade B
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite book of short stories
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 30, 2019
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David J. Thirteen
5.0 out of 5 stars Writing full of beauty and imagination
Reviewed in Canada on September 26, 2016
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3 people found this helpful
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Claudio
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring and overrated
Reviewed in Italy on November 1, 2020
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