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Bliss Montage: Book summary and reviews of Bliss Montage by Ling Ma

Bliss Montage

Stories

by Ling Ma

Bliss Montage by Ling Ma X
Bliss Montage by Ling Ma
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  • Published Sep 2022
    240 pages
    Genre: Short Stories

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About this book

Book Summary

A new creation by the author of Severance, the stories in Bliss Montage crash through our carefully built mirages.

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.

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Book Awards

  • award image National Book Critics Circle Awards, 2022

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Ma uses elements of the fantastic but grounds them in a reality that is more recognizably our own...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." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A lyrical, potent [book] that blends fantasy and reality to dazzling effect...Ma seamlessly blends the real and the unreal with astonishing confidence and care...Another triumph for Ma." - BookPage (starred review)

"Ma examines themes of otherness and disconnection in this fantastical and often brilliant collection...a couple of entries...don't quite manifest into something more than their conceit. Nevertheless, there is much to enjoy." - Publishers Weekly

"Surreal and jarring in the most sensational way...A fantastical collection that grows more and more captivating with each page." - Booklist

"This delightfully strange dip back into Ma's brain is as wonderful as you expect. It touches on what amounts to the greatest hits of human existence: friendship, love, the meaning of home and why we need each other. Read it. Just read it." - Good Housekeeping

"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." - Nick Drnaso, author of Sabrina

"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." - Sianne Ngai, author of Ugly Feelings

This information about Bliss Montage was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Ling Ma

Ling Ma is a writer hailing from Fujian, Utah, and Kansas. She is the author of the novel Severance, which received the Kirkus Prize, the Whiting Award, and the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award. She lives in Chicago with her family.

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