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Bliss Montage: Stories
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Published:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2022
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Available from OverDrive
Description

A National Indie Bestseller
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Story Prize, and a Windham-Campbell Literature Prize
A Best Book of the Year at The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vogue, Houston Chronicle, Roxane Gay's The Audacity, Mashable, Polygon, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal
A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
"Uncanny and haunting . . . Genius." —Michele Filgate, The Washington Post
"Dazzling." —Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air
What happens when fantasy tears 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. A woman lives in a house with all her ex-boyfriends. A toxic friendship grows up around a drug that makes you invisible. An ancient ritual might heal you of anything—if you bury yourself alive.
These and other scenarios investigate the ways that the outlandish and the ordinary are shockingly, deceptively, heartbreakingly alike.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/13/2022
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780374717124
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Ling Ma. (2022). Bliss Montage: Stories. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Ling Ma. 2022. Bliss Montage: Stories. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Ling Ma, Bliss Montage: Stories. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Ling Ma. Bliss Montage: Stories. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Sep 09, 2022 17:56:33
Date Updated:
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      • bioText: Ling Ma is a writer hailing from Fujian, Utah, and Kansas. She is the author of the novel Severance, which received the Kirkus Prize, a Whiting Award, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. She lives in Chicago with her family.
      • name: Ling Ma
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A National Indie Bestseller
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Story Prize, and a Windham-Campbell Literature Prize
A Best Book of the Year at The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vogue, Houston Chronicle, Roxane Gay's The Audacity, Mashable, Polygon, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal
A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
"Uncanny and haunting . . . Genius." —Michele Filgate, The Washington Post
"Dazzling." —Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air
What happens when fantasy tears 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. A woman lives in a house with all her ex-boyfriends. A toxic friendship grows up around a drug that makes you invisible. An ancient ritual might heal you of anything—if you bury yourself alive.
These and other scenarios investigate the ways that the outlandish and the ordinary are shockingly, deceptively, heartbreakingly alike.

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        April 1, 2022

        In six stories set mostly in central New York State, Natural History revisits the family of scientists, teachers, and innovators the expansive Barrett has featured regularly since her National Book Award-winning collection Ship Fever. From passengers quarantined while on cruise to a woman explaining to her barstool companion that she has ESP to a hyena loose in the south of France, I Walk Between the Raindrops shows off the award-winning Boyle's trenchant prose (50,000-copy first printing). In Bliss Montage, NYPL Young Lion Ma (Severance) reveals the absurdism of the everyday through push-the-envelope stories featuring a woman living with all her former boyfriends, relationships based on an invisibility drug, and the idea that burying oneself alive can cure all manner of ills (75,000-copy first printing). From prolific, icepick-exact short story writer Means, a Pushcart and O. Henry honoree, Two Nurses, Smoking explores grief and survival in pieces ranging from two nurses exchanging quiet support in a parking lot to a couple reuniting on the ski slopes after having met in a bereavement group.

        Copyright 2022 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 27, 2022
        Ma (Severance) examines themes of otherness and disconnection in this fantastical and often brilliant collection. In “Tomorrow,” an arm protrudes from a woman’s vagina during her pregnancy, which her doctor says is “not ideal” but “relatively safe,” his cursory advice gleaned from a website that “looks like WebMD.” The mother, like many of the book’s protagonists, emigrated from China to the U.S. as a child; later in the story, she returns to visit her great-aunt, with whom she communicates primarily through a translation app. In “Returning,” a woman travels with her husband to his native country, the fictional Garboza, only to be abandoned by him at the airport. The protagonist, who wrote a novel about a couple who “during an economic depression, decide to cryogenically freeze themselves,” experiences ambivalence about her marriage. These stories, and the elliptical “Office Hours” (about a young woman’s semi-romance with her film professor, who has a Narnia-like magical wardrobe in his office), are enchanting, full of intelligence, dry humor, and an appealing self-awareness. On the other hand, a couple of entries—such as “Los Angeles,” about a woman living with 100 of her ex-boyfriends—don’t quite manifest into something more than their conceit. Nevertheless, there is much to enjoy. Agent: Jin Auh, Wylie Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        June 15, 2022
        Short stories from the author of Severance, winner of the 2018 Kirkus Prize for fiction. The narrator of "Los Angeles" lives with her husband, their children, and the children's au pairs in the east and west wings of their home. Her hundred ex-boyfriends live in the "largest but ugliest wing." While the narrator takes these past lovers on outings to Moon Juice and LACMA, the husband works at an investment firm. The husband's dialogue is rendered in dollar signs. This piece feels uncanny in the Freudian sense--as if it is peopled not by actual humans but by ghosts or automata. (There are echoes of Ma's debut novel, in which a pandemic turns people into zombies that repeat the same everyday action over and over.) In the stories that follow, Ma uses elements of the fantastic but grounds them in a reality that is more recognizably our own. "Without question, the best part of taking G is the beginning. The sensation of invisibility is one of floating. You walk around with a lesser gravity, a low-helium balloon the day after a birthday party." "G" is the name of a story and the name of the drug the narrator of the story takes with her best friend, Bonnie, on her last night in New York. What begins as a tale about two young women engaging in low-key mayhem because no one can see them turns into a story about two girls who were pressured to become friends because they were both Chinese immigrants--although with very dissimilar experiences of life in the United States. What they want from invisibility is different, and what Bonnie wants from the friend who is about to leave her is everything. The ideas of home and belonging recur throughout the collection. In "Returning," the narrator meets the man who will become her husband when they are both on a panel for immigrant authors. A trip to his native country to participate in a festival--a trip that is an attempt to salvage their marriage--ends in a macabre, desperate rite. Ma also writes about motherhood and academic life and abusive relationships. These are rich themes, and the author explores them with the logic of dreams. Haunting and artful.

        COPYRIGHT(2022) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        August 1, 2022
        Following her debut novel, Severance (2018), Ma again proves her biting sense of humor and gift for subtlety in a collection of eight short stories, all surreal and jarring in the most sensational way. A woman lives with her husband, who only speaks in dollar signs, and all of her ex-boyfriends in a giant Los Angeles house. Bea takes an invisibility-inducing drug called G with her childhood best friend, who is known to be untrustworthy but shares her experience of otherness. And in another story, a writer loses her spouse on a trip to his home country of Garboza. There, she discovers amid the panic that the Morning Festival they're heading to involves a tradition of literal burial and rebirth. Playful and melancholic, Ma masterfully takes on heavy topics such as abuse and loneliness with sprawling, spinning plotlines. All the while, she interweaves the experience of Chinese American women, touching on visibility, assimilation, and the expectations of immigrant mothers. A fantastical collection that grows more and more captivating with each page.

        COPYRIGHT(2022) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from October 7, 2022

        NYPL Young Lion Ma (Severance) reveals the absurdity of the everyday through push-the-envelope stories that feel weird and disturbing, perhaps self-consciously so, until the reader surrenders to their sensibility and decides that they're brilliant. A woman lives in a large compound with her husband and all her former boyfriends; one runs off, hunted by the police, and in a follow-up story the protagonist spots him on the street, follows him, and reveals startling truths about him to his suddenly anxious new lover. A young woman on the verge of a new life has a last-minute visit with a friend she hasn't seen for some time, as they have little in common and mostly bonded over a drug they once took together; the power play here is as scary as it is absolute. In a story of marital tension that forces us to ponder how well we know the people to whom we're closest, a wife travels with her husband to his homeland, the backwater Garbosa, and learns that the festival he wants to attend involves burying oneself alive as a means of renewal. Throughout, the surreal prickles the skin but starts to feel almost welcomingly familiar. VERDICT Highly recommended for readers looking for an inventive take on contemporary life.--Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

        Copyright 2022 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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A National Indie Bestseller
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Story Prize, and a Windham-Campbell Literature Prize
A Best Book of the Year at The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vogue, Houston Chronicle, Roxane Gay's The Audacity, Mashable, Polygon, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal
A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
"Uncanny and haunting . . . Genius." —Michele Filgate, The Washington Post
"Dazzling." —Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air
What happens when fantasy tears 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...

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Stories
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux
bisacCodes
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      • description: Fiction / Literary
      • code: FIC029000
      • description: Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
      • code: FIC061000
      • description: Fiction / Magical Realism