Blue Stoop Presents: Readings by May-Lan Tan and Bonnie Chau (w/ Anne Ishii)


Please join us for readings by May-Lan Tan and Bonnie Chau,
who will be joined in conversation by Anne Ishii of the Asian Arts Initiative!

May-Lan Tan's Things to Make and Break

Former lovers, past selves, hopes for the future—two people are never alone in a love story.

These eleven short fictions evoke the microcosmic worlds every human relationship contains. A woman is captivated by the stories her boyfriend tells about his exes. A faltering artist goes on a date with a married couple. Twin brothers work out their rivalry via the girl next door. In every one of these tales, we meet indelibly real and unforgettable people, a cast of rebels and dreamers trying to transform themselves, forge new destinies, or simply make the moment last.

Praise for Things to Make and Break

“These stories feel like they were written with a lit cigarette on the night wind. Tan has an imagination like a haunted carousel and each story here is like a ghost that wants only to talk to you. This is one of those debuts to remember, a name that bookmarks itself in your mind after the first story, or should—attention, as we say, must be paid. May-Lan Tan is here.”
—Alexander Chee

“There’s plenty of darkness and a sprinkling of magic, and these strange, flinty, cigarette-stained narratives speed by, offering lots of surface tension and compelling deeper passions.”
—The Guardian

“Visceral and demanding; an unsettling collection that knocks you off balance.”

“Tan is a cinematic writer in the same way some directors are literary—think David Lynch at his most Guignol.”
—Times Literary Supplement

May-Lan Tan studied fine art at Goldsmiths and works as a ghostwriter. Her stories have appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, the Atlas Review, the Reader, and Areté. She lives in Berlin.

Bonnie Chau's All Roads Lead to Blood

Unflinching portrayals of desire and alienation fill Bonnie Chau's award-winning story collection. Chau's short fiction explores the lives of young women navigating love, failure, heritage, and memory, and presents a fresh perspective of second-generation Chinese-Americans. Moving back and forth between California and New York, and ranging as far away as Paris, Chau’s exquisitely written stories are bold, highly imaginative, and haunting, featuring characters who defiantly exert their individuality.

Praise for All Roads Lead to Blood

“Chau’s stories [are] a straight shot into the deepest recesses of my body…masterful.”
 —Anelise Chen, author of So Many Olympic Exertions

“Brilliant and strange, Chau’s arresting short stories delve into the emotional and sexual lives of second-generation Chinese-American women.... [Chau's] writing is almost alarming in its clarity, crisp and unselfconscious....Chau is a distinctive voice, and if the stories are good, the sentences are even better.”
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“…an exhilarating debut…honest and arresting. All Roads Lead to Blood will ring true to anyone who feels like they’re lingering on the path toward figuring themselves out.”
—Arianna Rebolini, Buzzfeed: The Best Books of Fall 2018

“The intensity and desire of youth, with the wisdom of wild imagination, fill these wonderful stories by Chau. This unforgettable, stellar debut kept surprising me with fantastical turns, and sharp, unsettling insights.”
—Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances

“Chau is a writer of sharp intelligence who cannot help but to build life—messy and raw and real—on the page. A remarkable debut.”
—Ben Marcus, author of Leaving the Sea
Bonnie Chau is from Southern California and received her MFA in fiction and translation from Columbia University. Her writing has appeared in Flaunt, Drunken Boat, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Offing, Nat. Brut, Joyland, The Felt, and other journals. A Kundiman fellow, she works at an independent bookstore in Brooklyn and is assistant web editor at Poets & Writers.

Anne Ishii is the Executive Director of Asian Arts Initiative, a multi-disciplinary community arts center in Philadelphia that engages people of all ages and backgrounds to create and present art that addresses Asian American experience and effects positive change in a broad range of communities and in its immediate neighborhood of Chinatown North. Anne is a writer, editor, and translator, who for the past ten years has worked specifically to achieve visibility and recognition for art and artists that touches on issues of gender and sexuality in the Asian diaspora. In her quest to platform more and better iterations of work from the API diaspora, Anne has worked in publishing and advertising, venture consulting and content strategy.

Co-Sponsored by BLUE STOOP!

Event date: 
Monday, October 22, 2018 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Things to Make and Break (Emily Books) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781566895279
Availability: Available to Ship
Published: Coffee House Press - October 2nd, 2018

All Roads Lead to Blood Cover Image
ISBN: 9781939650870
Availability: Available to Ship
Published: 2040 Books - September 1st, 2018