I’m not enamoured of short stories, they often feel like a cop out: “I couldn’t manage to write a whole novel, so here I wrote 10 000 words instead”. But in the hands of a really good tight writer, wow! So I gotta rave about The Dog by Jack Livings and confess that the only reason I picked it up was because of the dog on the cover. But once you get reading you realise a smart new short story writer has come onto the scene. The Dog has been awarded the 2015 PEN/Robert W Bingham Prize for debut fiction and named Best Book of the Year by the Times Literary Supplement.
Although Livings lives in New York and works for Time Inc, the stories in The Dog are all about China — another one of its attractions for me. Continue reading “And another dog”