The Dog

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Winner of the 2015 PEN / Robert W. Bingham Prize

“Jack Livings’ stories of China are marvels of the imagination. Rendered in such precise and exquisitely observed detail, they read like directly reported dispatches from the tragic, ruthless, beset, nearly hopeless hearts of the souls of Beijing. It is Livings’ genius, though, to know that nearly hopeless is not the same thing as hopeless. What gives these stories their dark, upsetting grandeur is in every case the luminosity of hope, no matter how fragile, how vulnerable, how very nearly extinguished.”

–Paul Harding, author of Tinkers and Enon

“These stories, one after another, accomplish that miraculous great-fiction trick — taking you to places you’ve never been and can’t otherwise go, making the exotic familiar and and the ordinary other-worldly, getting you inside the heads of compelling people who seem absolutely real, and do all that in impeccably prose while telling excellent tales that are by turns witty and scary and wise. Jack Livings is a superb and singular writer.”

–Kurt Andersen, author of True Believers and Heyday

“In prose that is at once unadorned and poetic, with a Chekovian tenderness for even his most corrupt characters, Jack Livings presents us with a startling new portrait of contemporary China. Ruthless and compassionate in its depiction of social, cultural, and familial injustice, this is raw, vital storytelling from a voice we cannot afford to ignore. I predict that THE DOG will be read and studied alongside the stories of Joyce and Cheever, Faulkner and Carver.  Listen up, America: we need this book.”

–Jamie Quatro, author of I Want to Show You More