"At night these memories still swim up to me, unbidden. Most of the time I pat them on the head and send them away, releasing them back into dark waters. I tell myself it doesn't do to fixate too much on the dead: apart from everything else, they can't answer you."
Presenting our bookclub's group read for this month: Land of Big Numbers by Te-Ping Chen! Largely set in China, this collection of short stories ambitiously covers lots of ground : from rural villages to bustling cities, activists to party hopefuls, from the mundane to the surreal. It reads surprisingly quickly, given the heavy topics addressed. Each story is laden with social commentary - some focus more on the multifaceted relationships between citizens and their government or community, and others turn inward and showcase the struggle to find a sense of meaning, identity, and connection. As is the case with many short story collections, we found that some stories were more cohesive and dazzling than others, so altogether, ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫.