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My Enemy’s Cherry Tree Reviews

My Enemy’s Cherry Tree by Ting-Kuo Wang, Howard Goldblatt, Sylvia Li-chun Lin

My Enemy's Cherry Tree

Ting-Kuo Wang, Howard Goldblatt, Sylvia Li-chun Lin

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Granta Books
Publisher: Granta Books
Publication date: 4 Apr 2019
ISBN: 9781846276583

How long would you wait for her? - Haruki Murakami meets Indecent Proposal in this novel of love, money and betrayal

4 stars out of 5
8 May 2019

"a glimmering Taiwanese tale of love and sorrow"

Ting-Kuo’s novel plays with these ideas of presence and absence. It’s split into four acts, with the coffee-shop present bookending the story of the relationship. The first and last sections are elliptical and strange – tenses slip around, conditionals blur into reality, and, though the story seems to be addressed to Miss Baixiu, it’s not clear that the narrator is even speaking to her... The effect is poetic, but disorienting – even the novel’s premise is more intelligible from the fly cover than from the exposition. The narrative solidifies into something more linear – and easier to follow – in the flashbacks; though the murky present and clear past are tied together by the simple loveliness of Ting-Kuo’s prose. Luo and Qiuzi talk “animatedly, like two fish sizzling in a pan”; her hair is “layered to a tapered end, like a fox gazing at snow on the nape of her neck”.