Winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize
Winner of the GLCA New Writers Award
Finalist for the CLMP Firecracker Award
“Michael X. Wang’s stories travel from the countryside to the city and back, from China to America, through time and space thrillingly; they are hilarious and tragic, political and domestic, beautiful and brutal, not in turn but miraculously at the same time. On every page technically nervy and beautifully written and startling—in language, character, telling detail—Further News of Defeat is intensely interested in the questions and sorrows and strange jokes of being a human being in the world.”
- PEN America
"Michael X. Wang reveals a remarkable ability to move fluidly through time periods and points of view, all with such a clear and vibrant voice—the stories then sing on a sentence level while also illumnating the world at large."
- Aimee Bender
"His stories brilliantly explore the deepest themes inherent in every human being and in most great literature: our yearning for a self, for an identity, for a place in the universe. This is a remarkable debut by a gifted new artist.”
- Robert Olen Butler
"This collection demonstrates an extraordinary range: real and fantastic, urban and rural, young and old, past and present. The stories move with measured and unflinching prose. The characters, charged equally by desperation and impulsivity, are live wires crossing powerful and often predatorial forces. Violence is endemic, personal and state-sponsored. The grace notes, humor, odd encounters and ironies leaven the violence and make it survivable. The disparate narrators show Wang’s extraordinary capacity to empathize with different people. The authorial distance seems quite an accomplishment in a writer’s first work. At its intersection, Wang delivers stories of remarkable symmetry. This is a collection full of devastating loss, yet resonant light cracking against the long night."
- GLCA Judges
“Wang’s debut collection is a masterful amalgam of heart, brutality, and irony. Wang sees deeply into his subject. With offhand precision his stories present a vision of recent China that feels utterly genuine even when he is raucously, indubitably inventing. This is political fiction of a high caliber.”
- Sharon Solwitz
“Further News of Defeat is a collection of deeply researched and engrossing, wonderfully evocative and moving short stories about the people of a particular village in China and the migration of their descendants to urban centers and new lands. What’s extraordinary about this book is how it also reads like a distilled epic bringing to life the great clash of tradition and progress in a half-century of dizzyingly rapid change in the world’s most populous country. A beautiful, assured, and unforgettable debut.”
- Porter Shreve
"Although the stories in this engrossing debut collection cover myriad perspectives, time periods, and themes, Further News of Defeat also reads with the cohesiveness and urgency of the best political novels, capturing the consequences of history’s largest, cruelest forces—war, poverty, corruption—on the individual lives of its characters. As the collection weaves through the history of China—both real and imagined—Wang tackles dark, painful subjects with startling tenderness and care. Further News of Defeat is a stunning debut from a major new talent."
- Jake Wolff