What happens when fantasy tears through the screen of the everyday to wake us up? Could that waking be our end?
In Bliss Montage, Ling Ma brings us eight wildly different tales of people making their way through the madness and reality of our collective delusions: love and loneliness, connection and possession, friendship, motherhood, the idea of home. From a woman who lives in a house with all of her ex-boyfriends, to a toxic friendship built around a drug that makes you invisible, to an ancient ritual that might heal you of anything if you bury yourself alive, these and other scenarios reveal that the outlandish and the everyday are shockingly, deceptively, heartbreakingly similar.
INTERVIEWS and REVIEWS
Atlantic: Office Hours (extract)
‘Ling Ma is a master at subverting expectations. The stories in this collection progress in a pleasantly disorienting way, drifting through dreamlike scenarios that are at turns nightmarish, queasy, funny, or some combination of all three. Bliss Montage presents a strange and compelling intersection between stark realism and absurd fantasy. It all adds up to a uniquely satisfying reading experience.’
‘We know that the false and the true—like bliss and misery—are interlaced in the lifeworlds of globalized capitalism, but no one explores the affective contours and sensuous texture of that intermingling in the way Ling Ma does. In this riveting collection of stories, in which one is alternately startled, horrified, and delighted, Ma stands out once again as one of the most original writers of her generation.’
‘Severance is the best work of fiction I’ve read yet about the millennial condition…One of my favourite novels of the year.’
‘A writer with seemingly boundless imagination.’
‘Ma’s great skill is in making the familiar seem utterly fresh, even as she shows us how deadening our familiar lives can be.’