Fiction. Asian & Asian American Studies. LGBTQIA Studies. The characters in these ten stories are longing for escape and attempt to leave home, but inevitably and perhaps ironically find themselves homesick. Chih-Ying Lay, a Montreal-based expatriate from Taiwan familiar with both homesickness and home sickness, probes our desperate need for home, often matched with an equally desperate need to get away from it. Lay's characters are outsiders, whether queer, indigenous, unloved or lost, and each discovers that home is not the sanctuary it was meant to be. Sometimes, they find a place to call their very own, as if to tell the reader: You can, too.
"Good writers create worlds—great writers, glittering constellations. Chih-Ying Lay's debut collection makes my head spin. Diamond-hard, harrowing, melancholy, bawdy, erudite, his stories stream with blood, sperm, tears, piss, sweat, passion, loss. A medical student lovingly dissects the body of a dear friend who was a political dissident; a twisted sexual triangle develops between an artist, her nine-year-old son, and a day labourer; a young man whose mother is in chemo develops sympathetic symptoms all his own. By turns blunt, cynical, yearning, delicate, wounding, HOME SICKNESS is the work of a true original. As one queer writer to another, I salute an astonishing new talent."—Will Aitken
Born in Taipei, Chih-Ying Lay came to Canada in 2008 to obtain his PhD in Microbiology at McGill University. Stories from his first collection, The Escapist, published in Taiwan in 2008, have been awarded the Formosa Literature Prize and the Liberty Times Literature Prize. He has published a novel, The Ideal Family (2012), and another collection of short fiction, The Comic Lives of Losers (2016). A guest broadcaster both in Taiwan and for Radio Canada International in Montreal, he sings in Ensemble Sainte-Anne Singers and Musica Orbium and works as a senior research scientist in Montreal.Author City: L'ILE-PERROT, QC CAN