“An astonishing look at a new widow’s attempt to make sense of her husband’s death and her newfound independence, through which she rediscovers her love of painting, forms new and profound bonds, rekindles previously dormant familial relationships, and ultimately finds peace in uncertainty. Set in Beijing and Tibet, Braised Pork is a poetic reflection on life and all of its meandering, unpredictable messiness.”Jake Cumsky-Whitlock, Solid State Books
One autumn morning, Jia Jia walks into the bathroom of her lavish Beijing apartment to find her husband dead. One minute she was breakfasting with him and packing for an upcoming trip, the next, she finds him motionless in their half-full bathtub. Like something out of a dream, next to the tub Jia Jia discovers a pencil sketch of a strange watery figure, an image that swims into Jia Jias mind and wont leave. The mysterious drawing launches Jia Jia on an odyssey across contemporary Beijing, from its high-rise apartments to its hidden bars, as she encounters some of the people who call the city home, including a jaded bartender whose caring support turns to a romantic interest. Unencumbered by a marriage that had constrained her, Jia Jia travels into her past to try to discover things that were left unsaid by the people closest to her. Her journey takes her to the high plains of Tibet, and even to a shadowy, watery otherworld, a place she both yearns and fears to go. Exquisitely attuned to the complexities of human connection, and an atmospheric and cinematic evocation of middle-class urban China, An Yus Braised Pork explores the intimate strangeness of grief, the indelible mysteries of unseen worlds, and the energizing self-discovery of a newly empowered young woman.
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