“The highest goodness,” the philosopher Lao-Tzu said, “is like water,” penetrating every crevice, filling, covering, and leveling, able to take the shape of any container. Young writer Huang Wei-Ting, who writes with the power of water, shows us many human and natural containers in The Fog Catcher, her inaugural collection of short stories. A young boy who feels rejected by his family builds a moisture net to catch water after their water supply is cut off, and in doing so reshapes his relationship to his father; one young woman casts off the inconstant affection of her female friends and goes in search of lasting attachment, while another, who has sacrificed job and health security to do the work she loves, negotiates her fear of the city. Clouds, mist, and underground rivers echo and inspire the anxieties, hopes, and desires of her characters, many of whom are “fog catchers” in their own right – individuals engaged in a desperate pursuit of something that seems ephemeral, yet condenses slowly into reality.
Huang Wei-Ting writes with a clear-sighted realism that brings voice and environment together through vivid, seamless descriptions of outer and inner lives. Reading her stories, we follow the human spirit as it is driven from its many sources to the ocean, passing through all sorts of gullies and canals on its way.