About the book

Long-listed for the University of Rochester's Best Translated Book Award 2015

Dorothy Tse’s stories often start on a note of innocence, but an abrupt twist invariably brings us up short: dreamscapes descend and the pages become populated with ever-weirder characters. Strange occurrences are juxtaposed in ways that confound logical expectations. These stories are not for the faint-hearted—violence and sensuality abound. Limbs, even heads, are lopped off with regularity. Yet scenes can be so outrageous that we find ourselves laughing. Tse’s bold narrative experiments leave us alternately beguiled and deeply unsettled.

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Praise for Snow and Shadow

  • Akin to being lost in a snowstorm: dizzying, terrifying, but nevertheless thrilling.

    Words Without Borders
  • There is something mesmerizing that holds the reader captive.

    Colorado Review
  • This enchanting collection of transformative tales will, like a shadow, follow [readers] long after the final page.

    South China Morning Post
  • The stories...are blunt, stark, and nightmarish, and this is what makes them all so exquisite.



The torrid heat prowled our part of town like a wild beast. The postman pressed our bell furiously again and again. Father, who was watering the tropical plants on the balcony with a hose, gave no more than an apathetic glance in response to the continual ringing. Mother, her face streaked with tears, stayed in the kitchen. The chopping motions she made with her hands had acquired a mechanical rhythm, which allowed her some peace of mind. A portion of the chopped onions, whose juice was making her cry, had gone into the boiling soup to nourish us, but most of them had fallen under the cooker and the rooster hopped around between mother’s legs, pecking at them and growing fatter by the day.

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About the author

Dorothy Tse portrait

Dorothy Tse is one of Hong Kong’s most acclaimed young writers. Her short story collection So Black (好黑) won the Hong Kong Biennial Award for Chinese Literature in 2005 and A Dictionary of Two Cities (雙城辭典), which she co-authored with Hon Lai-chu, won the 2013 Hong Kong Book Prize. Her literary prizes also include Taiwan’s Unitas New Fiction Writers’ Award and the Hong Kong Award for Creative Writing in Chinese. Snow and Shadow, her first English book, was long-listed for the University of Rochester’s Best Translated Book Award in 2015. She was a resident at the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program in 2011. A co-founder of Hong Kong’s preeminent literary magazine, Fleurs des Lettres, she currently teaches creative writing at Hong Kong Baptist University.

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About the translator

Nicky Harman portrait

Nicky Harman lives in the United Kingdom. She taught translation at Imperial College in London before becoming a full-time translator of Chinese literary works. She focuses on fiction, poetry and occasionally literary non-fiction. In addition to Dorothy Tse, she has translated works by Chen Xiwo, Han Dong, Hong Ying, Xinran, Yan Geling, Zhang Ling and Chan Koon-chung. She is a regular contributor to the literary magazines Chutzpah and Words Without Borders, and also organizes translation-focused events, mentors new translators and was one of the judges for the Harvill Secker Young Translators Prize 2012.

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