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Things to Make and Break

Authors: May-Lan Tan

Published by CB Editions

ISBN: 9781909585010

£8.99
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Reader's nomination for Guardian First Book Award 2014

A motorcycle courier finds a cache of nude photos in her boyfriend’s desk. The daughter of East German emigrants encounters her doppelgänger, who has crossed another cultural divide. Twin brothers fall for the same girl. When a stripper receives an enigmatic proposal from a client, she accepts, ignorant of its terms.


Shadows, doubles, and the ghosts of past and future lovers haunt these elegantly structured and often hallucinatory stories. The language is hypnotic, deadpan, intense; the sentences jewel-hard and sublime. This marks the debut of a stylish, exuberant newvoice in modern fiction.


May-Lan Tan grew up in Hong Kong, where her family had migrated from Indonesia. She spent her late teens in California and North Carolina, and returned to Hong Kong to work as a cartoonist, medical secretary, and artist’s model, before moving to London to study art at Goldsmiths.

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