Elsewhere: Stories (Hardcover)

Elsewhere: Stories By Yan Ge Cover Image
By Yan Ge
Available to SHIP now; STORE PICKUP in 7-10 days


Longlisted for THE STORY PRIZE | A New Yorker BEST BOOK of 2023 | MOST ANTICIPATED by NylonRolling StoneThe Millions

From multi-award-winning author Yan Ge, a shimmering, genre-bending English-language debut that announces the next phase in a major literary career.

“As haunting, dreamlike, and addictive as a melatonin-induced slumber.” —Nylon

“Deft... Elsewhere [explores] the power of language across the Chinese diaspora to either bring people together or push them apart.”—The New York Times

In twenty years, Yan Ge has authored thirteen books written in Chinese, working across an impressive range of genres and subjects. Now, Yan Ge transposes her dynamic storytelling onto another linguistic landscape. The result is a collection humming with her trademark wit and style—and with the electricity of a seasoned artist flexing her virtuosity with a new medium.

A young woman bonds with an encampment of poets after a devastating earthquake. Against her better judgment, a college student begins to fall for an acquaintance who might be dead. And a Confucian disciple returns to the Master bearing a jar full of grisly remains. Weaving between reality and dreamy surreality, these nine stories wend toward elsewhere, a comforting, frustrating, just-out-of-reach place familiar to anyone who has ever experienced longing. Through it all Yan Ge’s protagonists peer thoughtfully at their own feelings of displacement—physical or emotional, the result of travel, emigration, or exile. Brilliant and irresistibly readable, Elsewhere explores the utility (or not) of art in the face of lonesomeness, quotidian, and spectacular.

This highly anticipated collection is further proof that Yan Ge is a generational literary talent, to be watched closely for decades to come.

About the Author

Yan Ge was born in Sichuan, China. She is a fiction writer in both Chinese and English, and is the author of thirteen books in Chinese, including five novels. The first of her Chinese-language novels to be translated and released in the US, Strange Beasts of China, was one of The New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Yan’s English writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Irish Times, TLS, the Stinging Fly, and more. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia where she was the recipient of the UEA International Award for 2018–2019. She lives in Norwich with her husband and son.

Praise For…

Praise for Elsewhere
"The linked entries in Yan Ge’s deft English-language debut, Elsewhere, explore the power of language across the Chinese diaspora to either bring people together or push them apart.”The New York Times

"With wry humor and occasional earthy surrealism, Yan Ge... delicately renders both the linguistic and physical manifestations of longing."The New Yorker 

"What’s consistent…is an abiding sense of lightness, even when the characters are melancholy or lost….The pleasure of traveling ‘elsewhere,’ as in reading this singular book, is in wandering.”Wall Street Journal

"Yan Ge applies her trademark stylistic prowess to bitesize stories, which follow protagonists as they navigate the sense of otherness with varying degrees of success. Pour a crisp glass of something and settle in for a ride, it’ll be time well spent."Rolling Stone 

"The English-language debut from celebrated author Yan Ge is a genre-bending short story collection that’s as haunting, dreamlike, and addictive as a melatonin-induced slumber."Nylon 

"Jangly and eclectic... These stories map out the distance between the head and the gutthe way language can fail to convey the deepest, most visceral facts of life."The Guardian

"Yan Ge folds sentimentality, ritual, and banality into an offbeat chronicle of lonely people trying to sustain themselves in strange new roles and tongues, learning how to feed themselves through layers of dysfunction and dyspepsia.”—The Drift

"This subtle but brilliant collection will draw readers in and keep them enchanted until the very last word."Booklist

"Yan Ge explores human connections and disruptions in this ethereal collection… Here and elsewhere, Yan combines dry and subtle humor with her evocative lyrical style. These stories brim with intelligence.”Publisher's Weekly

"A bold, confident book that delights in written language even as it probes it.”Kirkus

"Do you remember the feeling of not wanting anyone else to discover your favorite band? Of the music speaking to you as though it were some extraordinary secret only you could understand and decode? Yan Ge’s Elsewhere, in all its spellbinding, strange, wondrous and captivating glory, is such a book: let me hold on to it a little while longer before you experience it too. A bewitching collection of stories that will leave you awestruck, shaken, and wanting to reach for it again and again."—Paul Yoon, author of Run Me to Earth

“A gripping, stunning work, worldly and otherworldly. Rich with philosophical depths, comedy, feeling and playfulness, Elsewhere is a wondrous book of books. It is like new light in an old, searching world.”—Madeleine Thein, author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing

“Yan Ge is one of the most surprising writers I’ve read in recent years, a fantastic storyteller who never fails to thrill me. In Elsewhere, her stories are both expansive and precise, their range of subjects and approaches suggesting few bounds to the subversive pleasures her stories might deliver. I suspect that even now Yan Ge is racing ahead of us lucky readers, off to explore the outer limits of possibility.” —Matt Bell, author of Appleseed

“Having already made a name for herself in Chinese, the prodigiously talented Yan Ge now reveals an equally compelling voice in English. The denizens of Elsewhere are misfits and dropouts, perpetually at odds with their surroundings in a world that refuses to accommodate them. A highly accomplished collection that is equal parts shimmering wit and startling emotional depth.”—Jeremy Tiang, author of State of Emergency 
"Precise, surreal and emotionally devastatingthe stories in Elsewhere leap between continents and centuries with a fierceness and confidence that makes their abiding loneliness and sense of longing all the more affecting."—Lucy Caldwell, author of These Days

"I don’t know anyone who writes like Yan Ge. In her distinctive story collection, Elsewhere, we meet characters from everywhere: the ancient world and the present day, the East and the West, the all-too-human and the larger-than-life. Throughout, we are confronted with questions simultaneously playful and profound, graced with dry wit and a blink-and-you-miss-it humour. Yan Ge writes with impressive facility across many registers, embracing a breadth of topics with both irreverence and pathos. Quick to read, but long to consider, I think this collection is extraordinary. "—Melissa Fu, author of Peach Blossom Spring

Praise for Strange Beasts of China

"The atmosphere of Strange Beasts of China is delightful. Through the narrator’s futile quest to catalog beasts, Yan captures the fluidness of city life, the way urban space defies definition even for people hellbent on making sense of it."
The New York Times

Luminous and beguiling… Yan is a deft and engaging storyteller, with a proclivity for dramatic revelations… Yan’s rare versatility and inventiveness keeps the narrative continuously surprising. … Strange Beasts transfixes you like a vivid dream, offering glimpses of the waking world contorted into uncanny forms.”
The Washington Post

“Magical realism of the best kind, where the spectacular is paired with just enough irony and daffy humor to keep it grounded on earth—or whichever world this fun and beguiling book takes place.” 
The Wall Street Journal

“A page-turner whose dense, fantastical atmosphere lingers long after the read.” 

Strange Beasts of China feels like a riddle and a parable and a dream, the kind of book you want to get lost in.” 
The Philadelphia Inquirer

"A thought-provoking read on its own merit, the book takes on added significance given that it is an early work by Yan, whose talent is clear, raw and electrifying." 
—Post Magazine

"Playful and darkly subtle . . . The world shown here is full of chaos and vulnerability."
—The Irish Times

“Mixes a sort of Borgesian bestiary of mysterious creatures with a deep sense of urban andsocial alienation to produce an enthralling and fascinating narrative. A breath of fresh air in theoften hard-sf dominated field of recently translated Chinese science fiction, this novel is a must-read for fans of Vandermeer, Borges, or fantasy fiction that blurs the line between genre and literary fiction.” 
Booklist (starred review)

“The overall effect of Yan’s storytelling is dreamy and hypnotic, sometimes opaque but always captivating. These cryptic but well-told tales offer much to chew on.” 
Publisher’s Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9781982198480
ISBN-10: 1982198486
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: July 11th, 2023
Pages: 304
Language: English