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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About this book

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

This information about The Dog 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

Jack Livings Author Biography

Photo: Jannie Yabroff

Jack Livings is author of The Dog, which was awarded the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, the Rome Prize for Literature, and was included on best book of the year lists by the Times Literary Supplement and the New York Times. His short stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories and have been awarded two Pushcart Prizes. His first novel, The Blizzard Party, was published in 2021. He lives in New York with his family.

Link to Jack Livings's Website

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