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K-Ming Chang Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Bestiary (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Gods of Want (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

K-Ming Chang

K-Ming Chang, born in the year of the tiger, 1998, and grew up in California. She formed the seeds of her future writing career in elementary school. Her story about a girls who turns into a tiger, she thought was “really terrible” but evidently not a complete loss.

That little story was the seedling that grew up to become her first novel, Bestiary. She was pleased to be able to have this book published a few months after her graduation from Sarah Lawrence College. (Yonkers, New York)

This young author has garnered an impressive collection of awards, nominations, and recognitions. She is a Kundiman fellow, a National Book Foundation 5 under 35 honoree, and a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Her debut novel Bestiary, was listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award.

Ms. Chang has taught many classes in her short career: Kundiman, Lambda Literary Writers’ Retreat, Pacific Northwest College of the Arts’ Low-Residency MFA Program, Catapult, Sevilla Writers House, Miami Book Fair, Vassar College Critical Ethnic Studies Conference, and Flash Fiction Festival (Literary Cleveland), among so many.

Bestiary, long listed for The Center For Fiction First Novel Prize, is the story of three generations of Taiwanese American women. These women are haunted by the myths of their homeland. Described as spellbinding, its visceral quality draws us in to see one family’s violent impulses and buried secrets of their queer desires.

Critiqued as magic on the page, Ms. Chang’s story is about a tiger spirit who lives in a woman’s body. Mother told Daughter that Hu Gu Po hungered to eat children, with a special craving for children’s toes. Daughter woke with a tiger tail with more mysterious incidents to follow.

Ms. Chang’s Gods of Want has proved how “exhilarating” short stories can be. The book was listed as a National Book Award “5 Under 35”.

The relationships between Asian American women explore the bodies, myths, memories, and relationships. In the short story “Auntland” a succession of aunts adjust to American life. Their methods are unusual and quirky. Buying tubs of vanilla ice cream to bolster their changes of passing their citizenship tests, crazy plans to name their daughters “Dog”, and sneaking hidden kisses from other women at the temple press the quirkiness to the wall.

Other short stories in this collection give us even more variety and entertainment. “The Chorus of Dead Cousins” has ghost-cousins crossing skies, seas, and space, haunting their live-cousin who’s married to a storm chaser. In “Xifu” a wife is ceaselessly tortured by her mother-in-law who’s goal is get her out of the house. “Mariela” has two young girls exploring each other’s bodies, in the belly of a plastic shark, for the first time together. There are other short stories that are equally inventive and fantastic. Ms. Chang’s feminist, erotic style is on full display in this collection of short stories.

Bone House is a short, just twenty-five pages, Taiwanese-American version of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. A queer love story with ghostly elements, an unconventional young woman who doesn’t identify with any particular lineage.

“Millet” has a destructive romance with Cathy Chiu who’s like Cathy from Brontë’s novel. An unnamed narrator has moved in Bone House. This is a butcher’s mansion.

The narrator finds out the house has a life and a mind of its own and she’s being haunted by Cathy’s ghost, who is persistent in her pestering. The narrator finds herself becoming attracted to Millet. The three women, real, ghosts, and spirits alike, are tethered by their histories and desires and violence.

Cecilia is a novella written by Ms. Chang. This abbreviated story tells us about the bodily and mythological transformation and how it is influenced by the cultural and personal. The savage backside of love and friendship is told by “Seven”.

Seven rides the bus to work at a chiropractor’s office and reconnects with Cecilia. Seven has been obsessed with her since they were children. We are privy to the intense eroticism of girlhood friendship. Their ecstasy of desire is haunted by the presence of crows.

Ms. Chang participates as one of the authors in the short story anthology Death in the Mouth: Original Horror by People of Color. These stories illustrate what can be the horrors to people living in the margins.

Their unique terrors are systemized and pervade every little part of their lives. A misheard word or the thud of boots can create the heart pounding breathtaking threat that doesn’t go away easily.

Death in the Mouth is a grouping of horror stories and art by BIPOC and ethically marginalized writers from around the world. The stories deliver frightening ecstasy and crippling hope with the sludge of grief buried in deep-seated fear.

Personification of mania and displacements of faith overlap errors of the body, spirit, and community. There are weird urban legends from the netherworld in a wide range of stories.

Ms. Chang loves folklore, vampire literature, and birdwatching in her home state of California.

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