* 2019 Mirror Weekly Book of the Year
* 2019 Kingstone Bookstore Book of the Year
* 2020 Taipei Book Fair Award
Two ballroom dancers – a young urban woman and ambitious gay man – invest the time and energy of their best years looking for a partner. Lee Wei-Jing’s posthumous magnum opus retells the fairy tale of the mermaid’s dream of walking.
Summer is a young, single woman living in Taipei who dreams of becoming a national ballroom dance competitor. Yet her search for the right partner – that magical key to dance – drags on endlessly. Dancing with her female classmates feels like stealing their time; high-school age partners bring harsh parental scrutiny, while dancing with men whose partners are gone only sets her up for heartbreak.
Summer’s teacher, Donny, can empathize with her plight. Though tremendously talented, he cannot keep a partner long enough to make it to the great stage at Blackpool. Even after he puts aside his own sexuality so he can offer to marry and care for the right partner, every woman he dances with eventually leaves him to find love elsewhere.
Lee Wei-Jing’s bitter yet scintillating novel, which the author finished from her deathbed, rewrites the fairy tale of the mermaid dreaming of walking on two feet in a way that pulls us closer to the true motivation behind it – not love, but freedom.