Owlish

Translated by Natascha Bruce

A professor falls in love with a mechanical ballerina in a mordant and uncanny fable of contemporary Hong Kong.

In the mountainous city of Nevers, there lives a professor of literature called Q. He has a dull marriage and a lacklustre career, but also a scrumptious collection of antique dolls locked away in his cupboard. And soon Q lands his crowning acquisition — a music box ballerina named Aliss who tantalisingly springs to life.

Guided by his mysterious friend Owlish and inspired by an inexplicably familiar painting, Q embarks on an all-consuming love affair with Aliss, oblivious to the sinister forces encroaching on his city and the protests spreading across the university that have left his classrooms all but empty.

Thrumming with secrets and shape-shifting geographies, Dorothy Tse's extraordinary debut novel is a boldly inventive exploration of life under repressive conditions.

'Tse joins the ranks of artists currently remaking the world, from Yoko Tawada to Cesar Aira.' —Joyelle McSweeney, author of Toxicon and Arachne

ISBN: 9781922585738 | Published: 2 May 2023 | Paperback | 224 pages

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