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Bliss Montage: Stories (Hardcover)

Bliss Montage: Stories By Ling Ma Cover Image
By Ling Ma
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September 2022 Indie Next List

“A stunning, haunting collection. In these stories, the mundane meets the fantastic in a web of intrigue, walking the line between thriller and horror in a genre of Ma’s own. A must read for fans of dystopian sci-fi and magical realism.”
— Meghana Kandlur, Seminary Co-Op Bookstores, Chicago, IL


A National Indie Bestseller

“Dazzling . . . Ling Ma writes with such authority that we readers are simply swept along . . . If sometimes we wonder where we’ve ended up, maybe that sense of dislocation is the desired final effect.” —Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air

“Uncanny and haunting . . . The genius of [Bliss Montage] is unearthed in how [Ma] stretches the boundaries of the world while zooming in on the details that matter most . . . A powerful reminder that there is more than one way to see — and really know — a person.” —Michele Filgate, The Washington Post

What happens when fantasy tears 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. A woman lives in a house with all her ex-boyfriends. A toxic friendship grows up around a drug that makes you invisible. An ancient ritual might heal you of anything—if you bury yourself alive.

These and other scenarios investigate the ways that the outlandish and the ordinary are shockingly, deceptively, heartbreakingly alike.

About the Author

Ling Ma is a writer hailing from Fujian, Utah, and Kansas. She is the author of the novel Severance, which received the Kirkus Prize, a Whiting Award, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. She lives in Chicago with her family.

Praise For…

Named a Must Read by The New York Times, TIME, Vulture, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Esquire, Nylon, Bustle, Buzzfeed, Gothamist, Associated Press, Fortune, Good Housekeeping, Literary Hub, The Millions, Publishers Weekly, Book Riot, Pop Sugar, Polygon, and Tor

“A striking collection that peddles in the uncanny and the surreal . . . [Bliss Montage] stay[s] with you — evidence of a gifted writer curious about the limits of theoretical possibility.”
—Lovia Gyarkye, The New York Times Book Review

“Remarkable . . . Bliss Montage delivers on the white-hot promise of [Ma’s] 2018 breakout.”
—Christopher Borrelli, The Chicago Tribune

“Weird and wonderful, surreal and subversive . . . Ma is well on her way to a landmark career.”
—Adrienne Westenfeld, Esquire

“Surreal . . . [with] powerhouses so absorbing that you’ll pray Ma spins them off into future novels.”
—Hillary Kelly, Los Angeles Times

“Captivating . . . Ma harnesses the pulsating desire and power dynamics present in all relationships, from intimate friendships and haunting romantic entanglements to motherhood and the invisible yet omnipresent ties of ancestors.”
—Cady Lang and Angela Haupt, TIME

“Swift, smart . . . As always, Ling Ma’s big, weird ideas set the stage for keen emotional insights.”
—Patrick Rapa, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“By turns blunt . . . hilarious . . . and insanely clever.”
—J. Howard Rosier, Vulture

“You turn the pages of Bliss Montage . . . and find the world you thought you knew shaken up and rearranged . . . Told with what’s become [Ma’s] signature sting of wit and satire.”
—Scott Simon, NPR

“Strange and unsettling . . . There’s a bit of magic realism in Ma’s imaginings, a bit of horror and often an emotional distancing.”
—Allison Arieff, San Francisco Chronicle

“Ma offers an astute insider-outsider perspective and a sharp eye for detail . . . [Bliss Montage] tweak[s] the everyday to allow us to question the mirages scaffolding our reality.”
—Mia Levitin, Financial Times

“As outlandish as [it is] delectable.”
—Sophia June, Nylon

“Uncanny and powerful . . . Soaring . . . Brilliantly layered.”
—Bruna Dantas Lobato, Astra

“Ma blends magical realism and intimate humanism in . . . entertaining stories that smash our sense of reality . . . Bliss Montage reveals the absurdity behind everyday heartbreak.”
The Chicago Review of Books

“[Bliss Montage] effortlessly gloss[es] the absurd over the quotidian. . . I blasted through this book in a day and couldn’t stop; less a feverish dream state than akin to being buoyed along by a current of shallow, ambient fantasy . . . Stunning.”
—Trisha Low, Tor

“[A] rich and capacious collection, a montage which begs to be viewed over and over again.”
—William Shaw, Strange Horizons

“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.”
—Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping

—Adam Morgan, Polygon

“Unpredictable and sharp, Ma’s writing is unlike any other.”
—Sabienne Bowman, Pop Sugar

“Haunting . . . Surreal.”
—Emerson Malone, Buzzfeed

Product Details
ISBN: 9780374293512
ISBN-10: 0374293511
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: September 13th, 2022
Pages: 240
Language: English
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