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Lake Like a Mirror Reviews

Lake Like a Mirror by Sok Fong Ho, Natascha Bruce

Lake Like a Mirror

Sok Fong Ho, Natascha Bruce

Score pending

2 reviews

Category: Fiction
Imprint: Granta Books
Publisher: Granta Books
Publication date: 7 Nov 2019
ISBN: 9781846276903

Nine unnerving short stories, nine women in disturbing or destructive situations, nine worlds unfolding in Malaysia and Taiwan

4 stars out of 5
11 Nov 2019

"Despite the distilled strangeness of much of Fong’s prose, spending so much time with lethargic, disengaged protagonists can ultimately prove enervating."

There’s a surreal bent to many of the stories in Lake Like a Mirror: everyday logic seems to slip, as if in a dream. It can be just an uncanny shiver, as in March in a Small Town, in which a man checks in to a guesthouse every day, without acknowledging he’s visited before. But some stories go further, sneaking towards magical realism... Despite the distilled strangeness of much of Fong’s prose, spending so much time with lethargic, disengaged protagonists can ultimately prove enervating. 

Reviews

3 stars out of 5
Sarah Gilmartin
9 Nov 2019

"Surreal but real stories of women in Malaysia"

It all sounds very Gilead, but this is not some terrifying, near-future dystopia, rather a depiction of present-day Malaysia in the stories of one of its up-and-coming authors, Ho Sok Fong. Life for Malaysian women in a strict, patriarchal country is the focus of the author’s second collection, Lake on a Mirror. Its striking, fluid translation has already won an English Pen Translates Award for Natascha Bruce, whose work includes the translation of the short stories of Hong Kong surrealist writer Dorothy Tse. This makes Bruce a fitting interpreter of Sok Fong’s collection, much of which is surreal and unheimlich in nature.