* 2011 Taipei Book Fair Award
As with every big city, Taipei is a jungle of love and dating, and those who aren’t careful can lose themselves permanently. Hsu Liang-Liang may be one such soul: thirty-eight, well-educated, and financially independent, she presents a polished facade to the outside world. Yet her love life is an absolute shambles, like so many of her tribe. When she falls in love with a man twelve years her junior, her friends predict that it can’t possibly end well. Yet he seems so nice, and so in love with her at first that she can’t help but dive in.
As his attentions waver and things get worse, the chorus of voices around her and in her head get louder. He won’t introduce her to his family; there is a younger woman who stays in the picture. This chapter in her history as an ex-girlfriend is told with vigor, bravery, and painful attention to ironic detail, deconstructing love and sex with a cold, modern eye.
My Name is Hsu Liang-Liang is a Taipei-style Sex and the City with the spice and elegance of Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments thrown in. Urban women step one by one up to the author’s microphone and tell their tales of motel rooms, shopping malls, text messages, and dreams in the vocabulary of contemporary attraction.