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A Pornography of Grief

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In this affecting, harrowing, and darkly hilarious debut collection, Philip Huang explores the topics that compel us and terrify us: sex, grief, and death. The past and the present blur together in ways that only people living at the periphery of reason understand. Like a good sad album, this book opens up wounds, probes the sorrows and strange lives of its characters, and ...more
Paperback, 194 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by Signal 8 Press (first published April 3rd 2011)
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Marshall
May 15, 2011 Marshall rated it it was amazing
OK, I'm biased: I'm the publisher. Does this violate some Goodreads rule or other? In any case, I discovered Philip Huang years ago. His short story "The Chair" (included here) appeared in some anthology or other, and it amazed me with its confidence and erudition. Sometime later, when I edited an issue of the now-departed and much-missed Suspect Thoughts Journal, I made sure to request a story from Philip. And more recently, when I started a publishing company in Hong Kong, he was one of the ...more
Alvin
Aug 31, 2014 Alvin rated it it was amazing
Despite the omnipresence of death, this is not a depressing book because Huang is a master at finding the humor in strangeness, and death is nothing if not strange. Each story in this collection transpires in its own claustrophobically small and private world of tragedy, so there's lots of variety. A few of the stories are slightly bogged down by too many characters, abstractions, or complications, but overall its more genius-y than not.
George Ilsley
Aug 30, 2012 George Ilsley rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories, gay
This book had the misfortune to be read following a brilliant novel and a stellar short fiction collection. Maybe if I had read this volume after reading a couple of crappy books I would have liked it more.

I always think less is more, when it comes to collections. Twelve strong stories is a better collection that a mixed bag of 18 pieces. The best stories here, such as "Pineola Inn" and "American Widow", are undermined by other short, weak pieces which are more like sketches or undeveloped vigne
...more
Scotch
Apr 21, 2015 Scotch rated it liked it
I flip-flopped with this one. A good find at a little SF bookstore (I made my partner ask the bookstore owner for recommendation of a contemporary Asian-American writer because I suddenly felt it would be too predictable for me to ask. Then I made him buy it for me so I wasn't discovered—HAHA).

Huang's prose was wild, loose and fragmented—which, depending on the story, was refreshing or grating. Still, it carried me through every story, and over the rough, blunt edges of the shorts. I enjoyed th
...more
Grace M.
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Kameron
Apr 05, 2013 Kameron rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, gay
A brilliant little collection of grotesque short stories and vile literature. Remarkably human.
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