This is the English-language premiere of Qiu Miaojin's coming-of-age novel about queer teenagers in Taiwan, a cult classic in China and winner of the 1995 China Times Literature Award.
Qiu Miaojin (1969-1995) was one of Taiwan's most innovative literary modernists, and the country's most renowned lesbian writer. Her posthumously published novels Last Words from Montmartre and Notes of a Crocodile are available as NYRB Classics. Eileen Myles is the author of nineteen books including I Must Be Living Twice: New & Selected Poems, and a 2015 reissue of Chelsea Girls. Myles lives in New York. Bonnie Huie is the recipient of a PEN Translation Fund Grant and lives in New York.
"[A] thrillingly transgressive coming-of age story by the Taiwanese writer Qiu Miaojin. Bonnie Huie's translation is nothing short of remarkable--loving, even; one gets the sense that great pains have been taken to preserve the voice behind this lush, ontological masterwork...First published in 1994, [it] is in many ways a futuristic text, as it contains conversations about identity that are happening now - and ones that have yet to. It is refreshing to read a novel that so frankly examines patriarchy, misogyny, homophobia, gender normativity and capitalism--especially one that howls so freely with pain." --Leopoldine Core, The New York Times Book Review "Billed as a cult classic and crafted with a unique mix of notes, diary entries, short scenes, and satire, this updated translation will shed more light on the work of a renowned but little-known author." --Sara Novic, Elle "Her prose is in turns satirical, obsessive, and devastating, and explores 'closetedness' amidst consuming romantic love, isolation, and crippling mental illness...Qui's work has, in a way, fulfilled what both the narrator Lazi and the crocodile are yearning for throughout the book: communion and solace with like-minded creatures." --Liz von Klemperer, Lambda Literary "Miaojin's willingness to show youth at its most self-absorbed and earnest is part of the book's appeal. Most readers--perhaps especially those who identify as LGBTQ--will see themselves somewhere in Lazi's agonized social circle. But Miaojin also reminds her readers at every turn how truly isolating otherness can be...A meandering, but moving, look at queer identity." --Kirkus Reviews "Despite a short life, Qiu Miaojin has left behind a notable legacy in contemporary Chinese literature. Her writings, along with her tragic death, have shed new light on the predicament gays and lesbians faced in Taiwanese society.... At the heart of Qiu's work lies the author's recognition that the nature of passion and love intensifies human existence in both its most beautiful and its most monstrous moments." --Li-hua Ying, Professor of English, Bard College "Qiu Miaojin...had an exceptional talent. Her voice is assertive, intellectual, witty, lyrical, and intimate...her works continue to command a huge following among college-educated lesbians in Taiwan, for she gave beautiful and soulful expression to the experiences of that community." --Tze-Lan D. Sang, Professor of Chinese literature and media studies, Michigan State University