Strange Beasts of China
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From the publisher
Translated by Jeremy Tiang
Winner of an English PEN award
‘All we have are stories.’
In the city of Yong’an, an amateur cryptozoologist is commissioned to uncover the stories of its fabled beasts. These creatures — with their greenish stomachs or gills or strange birthmarks — live alongside humans in near-inconspicuousness, some with ancient forbears, others engineered as artificial breeds.
Guided – and often misguided – by her elusive university professor, and his scrappy student sidekick Zhong Liang, our narrator finds herself on a mission to track down each species. And as she blunders from one implausible situation to the next, she comes one step closer to revealing her own inner beast…
Part detective story, part metaphysical enquiry, Strange Beasts addresses existential questions of identity, being, love and morality with whimsy and grace.