“Qian has a gift for sensory details, and for the speculative and grotesque. . . . a pleasure to read.”—Raven Leilani, author of Luster
The electric, unsettling, and often surreal stories in LET'S GO LET'S GO LET'S GO explore the alienated, technology-mediated lives of restless Asian and Asian American women today. A woman escapes into dating simulations to forget her best friend’s abandonment; a teenager begins to see menacing omens on others’ bodies after her double eyelid surgery; reunited schoolmates are drawn into the Japanese mountains to participate in an uncanny social experiment; a supernatural karaoke machine becomes a K-pop star’s channel for redemption. In every story, characters refuse dutiful, docile stereotypes. They are ready to explode, to question conventions. Their compulsions tangle with unrequited longing and queer desire in their search for something ineffable across cities, countries, and virtual worlds.
With precision and provocation, Cleo Qian’s immersive debut jolts us into the reality of lives fragmented by screens, relentless consumer culture, and the flattening pressures of modern society—and asks how we might hold on to tenderness against the impulses within us.
About the Author
Cleo Qian is a writer from southern California. Her work has been published in The Guardian, Shenandoah, Pleiades, The Common and elsewhere. She lives in New York City. LET'S GO LET'S GO LET'S GO is her first book.
LET'S GO LET'S GO LET'S GO is sharp and unprecious about the sticky aspects of having flesh. This collection is riddled with outsiders of different shades, of people who stand back from their realities with secret and burning questions. There are really tender portraits of yearning, of the unsteady but precious entanglements of both platonic and romantic love. It’s careful and soberly rendered, and it was a pleasure to read.
— Raven Leilani, author of Luster
In LET'S GO LET'S GO LET'S GO, Qian devastates like the best photographs from our youth, making us long for what’s lost while never losing sight of what is necessary for survival. The stories remind you that what you observe is already gone, and make you want to pay closer attention to what is already passing into memory.
— Kyle Dillon Hertz, author of The Lookback Window