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Ninetails by Sally Wen Mao
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Ninetails by Sally Wen Mao
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May 28, 2024 | ISBN 9780593907726 | 550 Minutes

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    May 28, 2024 | ISBN 9780143137894

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  • May 28, 2024 | ISBN 9780593907726

    550 Minutes

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“With this first collection of deft and poignant stories, Sally Wen Mao continues to prove herself as one of the most fascinating and versatile writers of her generation.” — Dave Eggers, New York Times bestselling author of The Eyes & the Impossible and The Every

An exquisite collection of fairy tale stories, each of which connect in some manner (figurative and literal) to foxes, and particularly the fox spirits of East Asian folklore. In gorgeous language and intimate attention to detail, Sally Wen Mao presents stories that span centuries, addressing dating apps and dancers and migrants and sex dolls with the same keen eye and enchanting prose.” — ELLE

“From acclaimed poet Sally Wen Mao comes her first collection of short stories Ninetails, a fabulist retelling of the nine-tailed fox spirit of Asian folklore. From a fox spirit avenging a teen girl by seducing her abuser to an assassination plot against the Queen of Korea known as Operation Fox Hunt, each story glimmers with captivating premises and glistens with undeniable lyricism. Sally Wen Mao has built entire worlds in each short entry, making this a prose debut that you don’t want to miss.” — Chicago Review of Books

“Award-winning poet Mao’s fiction debut is a spectacularly multifaceted collection about women and their feral superpowers….Mao challenges and disrupts expectations of womanhood, demanding and forging brilliant new narratives.” — Booklist *starred review*

“Mao’s own poetic roots are on full display in these vibrant fairy tales that feel at once like they have existed for hundreds of years and are freshly imagined.”Polygon

“A sumptuous and lively collection, leaping from story to story in much the same way a fox does — surprisingly, gracefully, and with impressive aim. I loved this book.” – Kelly Link, Pulitzer Prize finalist and bestselling author of Get in Trouble and The Book of Love

“What I love most about Ninetails is its fierce allegiance to underdogs of all kinds, its careful and myriad empathy for its characters, but also its pure and artisanal delight in language and fictive possibilities. It marks, to my mind, the beginning of a poet’s long and potent exploration in literature’s most capacious genre. And it’s a welcomed sight to see.” —Ocean Vuong, New York Times-bestselling author of On Earth, We’re Briefly Gorgeous and Time is a Mother

“Myth and folklore intertwine seamlessly with the tumultuous lives of Asian women in Ninetails…Unfolding with gripping intensity through author Sally Wen Mao’s vivid depictions of the gritting settings and sobering situations that confront her characters, each premise is made even more powerful by the magical element introduced when a fox spirit manifests to liberate the women from their misery, or inflict retribution for wrongdoings…Mao’s compelling depiction of Asian women’s experiences is powerfully unsettling in its authenticity. Through themes of revenge and redemption, these stories illuminate our enduring capacity for resilience.”Bookpage

is a spirited modern fairy tale that takes cues from history, mythology, headline news, dating apps, and Mao’s gift for sly observation. This is an exploration of the animal magic within the feminine, written with ardor and ambition.” — C Pam Zhang, author of Land of Milk and Honey

“With Ninetails, Mao weaves a beguiling and epic paean to the power of the feminine. Lyrical and virtuosic, with a sly sense of humor, this collection features a colorful and unforgettable cast of characters, from love dolls to dancers to translators to witches. A bewitching fiction debut as magical and shape-shifting as the fox spirit herself.” —Gina Chung, author of Sea Change and Green Frog

“Fiercely imaginative and nourished by a wild subterranean river of magic, folklore, and futuristic myth, Sally Wen Mao’s Ninetails is a beguiling book and one that challenges the reader to conjure strange new modes of subverting oppression. Long a luminary of the poetry world, Sally Wen Mao proves here that she is an unstoppable, incandescent force in prose as well.” – Alexandra Kleeman, author of Something New Under the Sun

“With lush world-building and Korean lore-inspired fabulism, the stories in this debut collection re-imagine the nine-tailed fox spirit present in Asian folklore as a vengeance-seeking redeemer.” — Bookriot

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