A Taiwanese Life of Pi
From the author of The Stolen Bicycle - longlisted for the International Man Booker Prize
On the island of Wayo Wayo, every second son must leave on the day he turns fifteen as a sacrifice to the Sea God. Atile’i however is determined to defy destiny and become the first to survive.
Across the sea, Alice Shih’s life is interrupted when a vast trash vortex comes crashing onto the shore of Taiwan, bringing Atile’i with it.
In the aftermath of the catastrophe, Atile’i and Alice retrace her late husband’s footsteps into the mountains, hoping to solve the mystery of her son’s disappearance. On their journey, memories will be challenged, an unusual bond formed, and a dark secret uncovered that will force Alice to question everything she thought she knew.
“A haunting and evocative tale, beautifully told. I wept at the description of the dying whales and the approaching tsunami ... I think this work will be a classic”
Hugh Howey, author of WOOL
“Frankly, astonishing… A wonderful novel which deserves a very wide audience”
David Barnett, Independent on Sunday
“Inventive narrative… The depiction of Atile’i’s magical realm and his innocent wonder at this unfamiliar and murky world is imaginative and moving”
Trisha Andres, Financial Times
“Shuttles between ... two realms with a dizzying ease reminiscent of Haruki Murakami, twisting the dreamlike into the curiously credible”
Times Literary Supplement
“We haven't read anything like this novel. Ever. South America gave us magical realism – what is Taiwan giving us? A new way of telling our new reality, beautiful, entertaining, frightening, preposterous, true. Completely unsentimental but never brutal, Wu Ming-Yi treats human vulnerability and the world's vulnerability with fearless tenderness”
Ursula Le Guin
“Intriguing… An earnest, politically conscious novel... anchored in the gritty mess of what it means to remember and to exist as an individual”
Tash Aw, Guardian
“An extraordinary near-future adventure”
chosen as one of the '50 Best Winter Reads', Independent
“A novel of the near future in which genre boundaries no longer have any meaning... The twists and turns of The Man with the Compound Eyes provide compelling reading. It is safe to say you will read nothing else quite like it”
Maureen Kincaid Speller, Interzone
“A fascinating genre-bending novel merging fantasy with an important environmental message”
“A novel anchored in the gritty mess of what it means to remember and to exist as an individual”
Tash Aw, Guardian