The opening story in Sour Heart, by Jenny Zhang, is about Christina, who lives with her parents in Brooklyn and whose skin constantly itches from the bedbugs, “like there were little tiny ants carrying sticks of fire and doing somer­saults and cartwheels all over my body”. Illustration: Adolfo Arranz

Chinese-American author Jenny Zhang’s taboo-busting short stories mix sweet and rancid

Zhang explores juvenile sexuality and the way trauma is passed down the generations with a strong authorial voice undercut somewhat by a certain repetitiveness in content and themes

Topic |   Chinese authors

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The opening story in Sour Heart, by Jenny Zhang, is about Christina, who lives with her parents in Brooklyn and whose skin constantly itches from the bedbugs, “like there were little tiny ants carrying sticks of fire and doing somer­saults and cartwheels all over my body”. Illustration: Adolfo Arranz
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