The author wishes to express his thanks to the following individuals, without whose faith
and unflagging support this book would simply not exist: Donna and Sebastian Lewis, Tia
Lewis, Alvin Snyder and Norah McClure.
Others have been instrumental and deserve to be recognized. Sarah Hofschneider, for your
sensitive and insightful comments on early drafts of a few of these stories I remain
grateful. Thad Reece and Addie Sanchez, your friendship, whether you knew it or not,
helped me recall who I was in a difficult time.
Melody Lin, you were, when I knew you, a bitch, meanly focused on orgasm and other
commonplace standards of gain, but you played your part.
Hyperbole would cheapen the thanks I extend to Nicole Irish, for taking a chance on me,
and to Ariel Fosse and everyone at Grove. You are wonderful, all of you. Believe it.
I am indebted as well to Graham Vester, Josephine Boyle, and others, too numerous to list,
at the quarterlies which opened their doors to some of these stories, providing a home.
Liao Xinjian, you gave me what turned out to be my big break when you published a couple
of them in your journal -- the "Paris Review of Taiwan," as you once wrote,
memorably. Enduring thanks.
Peter Best, you put the repair of my laptop on your cash card; L.J. Marks, you offered
your burn-scarred couch when I needed a place to crash. Gracias.
Jonathan Myers, you carried my stories back home, as it were -- back across the pond. I
owe you one, bro.
Melody Lin, your father put you in touch with Ben Wu. Should I thank him for that?
Should I ask if you ever think of our winter in the third-floor apartment on Q Street?
Should I ask how?
Ramon and other students, past and present -- you know who you are -- a shout out to you
guys. Working with you, and alongside you, has been a privilege. You've kept me young.
I do sometimes think of it, Melody Lin. Q Street. I think of a night we stayed in and
did pasta, and the windows steamed up, and the streetlights blurred, and I realized I
meant all the things that it was our habit to say. I remember your smile. But of course
you were fucking Ben Wu. The two of you had already fallen in love while translating
these sad stories.