THE EMBROIDERED SHOES: Stories by Xue Can

THE EMBROIDERED SHOES: Stories

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Opaque surrealism is the mode of these 11 arresting but not particularly rewarding stories by the Chinese author of Dialogues in Paradise and Old Floating Cloud (not reviewed). The tales are dreamlike concoctions built on exaggerated situations, such as the victimization of a naive householder by a malicious woman ""garbage collector"" (the title story) and the metamorphosis of a paralyzed long-distance runner into a contented couch potato (""A Dull Story""). Can Xue's characters seem so dissociated from their own experiences and very natures, and her stories' premises so off-putting (""A Strange Kind of Brain Damage,"" ""The Child Who Raised Poisonous Snakes""), that it's difficult to enter the odd worlds they inhabit. Accomplished, to be sure, but mandarin to a fault.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1997
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Henry Holt