The Dog: Book summary and reviews of The Dog by Jack Livings

The Dog

Stories

by Jack Livings

The Dog by Jack Livings X
The Dog by Jack Livings
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2014
    240 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

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Book Summary

Set in the shifting landscape of contemporary China, Jack Livings's The Dog explodes the country's cultural and social fault lines, revealing a nation accustomed to rations, bitter struggle, and the stranglehold of communism as it confronts a generation rife with the promise of unforeseen prosperity.

In this riveting, richly imagined collection, a wealthy factory owner—once a rural peasant—refuses to help the victims of an earthquake until his daughter starts a relief effort of her own; a marginalized but powerful Uyghur gangster clashes with his homosexual grandson; and a dogged journalist is forced to resign as young writers in "pink Izod golf shirts and knockoff Italian loafers" write his stories out from under him. With spare, penetrating prose, Livings gives shape to the anonymous faces in the crowd and illuminates the tensions, ironies, and possibilities of life in modern China. As heartbreaking as it is hopeful, The Dog marks the debut of a startling and wildly imaginative new voice in fiction.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [Jack Livings] writes so simply, and so well...These stories are sneaky, almost subliminal, in their ambitions and connections." - Kirkus Reviews

"A socially complex and pitch-perfect account of modernization's grueling aftermath." - Publishers Weekly

"[Jack Livings's] first collection of short fiction, with its tales of volatile protagonists struggling to survive in contemporary China, should attract widespread attention and praise... A brilliant and promising debut." - Carl Hays, Booklist

"Jack Livings's stories of China are marvels of the imagination." - Paul Harding, author of Tinkers

"These stories, one after another, accomplish those miraculous great-fiction tricks of taking you to places you've never been and can't otherwise go... by turns witty and scary and wise. Jack Livings is a superb and singular writer." - Kurt Andersen, author of True Believers

. "Jack Livings's... stories do what stories do best: they filter history and ideology through the experiences of individuals, with compassion, biting wit, and unsparing honesty." - Jess Row, author of The Train to Lo Wu

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Author Information

Jack Livings

Jack Livings' stories have appeared in The Paris Review, A Public Space, StoryQuarterly, Tin House, The New Delta Review, Best American Short Stories, and have been awarded two Pushcart Prizes. His debut short story collection is The Dog. Livings received his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. He is at work on a novel.

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