Dear Cyborgs gets the Double Take treatment at Electric Lit

spoilers contained, should you believe in such, in these smart, honest (double) takes of DEAR CYBORGS. thank to Jw McCormack and Rosiė Clàrke.

here’s my favorite bit:

“I was certainly misled by the superhero element!”

& also:

“In a way, it’s the most lucid book I’ve read lately. All the books I’ve related to lately have basically brought up the question(s) — what are we doing here? What are we party to? What is desirable? What is apt, given that the correct socio-political view is the horrified, baffled, fearful, woke one?”

& also:

“I think to write a book about immigrant experience that isn’t about immigrant experience, about superheroes that skews their whole purpose, and about capitalism and resistance that doesn’t succumb to bright-eyed idealism or weary cynicism is quite an achievement.”

read the rest here.

Hua Hsu in The New Yorker

“I was a few pages from the end of Eugene Lim’s wondrous new novel, DEAR CYBORGS, when I flipped back to the beginning and started again… His writing is confident and tranquil; he has a knack for making everyday life seem strange—or, in the case of DEAR CYBORGS, for making revolution seem like the most natural thing possible. His writing is transfixing from page to page, filled with digressive meditations on small talk and social protest, superheroes, terrorism, the art world, and the status of being marginal… there’s an intoxicating, whimsical energy on every page.”

Read the rest of Hua Hsu’s review in the New Yorker.

American classics that influenced Dear Cyborgs, mostly in pairs

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Library of America’s series of guest posts by contemporary American writers returns with the following contribution from Eugene Lim, whose novel Dear Cyborgs has just been published by FSG Originals.

In a concise 176 pages, Dear Cyborgs interweaves two narratives: one about two isolated Asian American boys in the Midwest who bond over a mutual love of comics, and the other about a group of disaffected superheroes pondering resistance strategies in the era of late capitalism.

Novelist Jonathan Lethem, who just edited the anthology Shake It Up: Great American Writing on Rock and Pop from Elvis to Jay Z for Library of America, is already a vocal fan of the novel, telling The Chicago Review of Books that it “blew me away with its deceptively blithe mixture of cryptic humor, philosophical ingenuity, and genuine political yearning… . I hope it makes a splash out there in this overcrowded world.”

Below, Lim pulls the curtain back on the literary and extra–literary influences that went into his new book.

Read the list at the Library of America blog.

interview at The Chicago Review of Books


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thanks to Sara Cutaia for this interview.

the headline might overstate things slightly. it wasn’t *constant* despair at any rate…

If you’re one of the millions of people who check the news every morning, you know citizens are joining marches and calling representatives daily. In the months since the election, we’ve seen the power of civil disobedience. And though these forms of dissent aren’t yet losing steam, they raise an interesting question: can these struggles continue in the face of capitalism?

Eugene Lim’s new novel Dear Cyborgs addresses this question as his characters meditate on art, political dissent, and purpose. In nestled narratives, the novel weaves a story of friendship that calls for a provocative conversation. If the novel is smart, the author is more so: Lim shared recently shared some of his thoughts on contemporary politics, the power of art, and a thorough reading list for those of us who want more after finishing Dear Cyborgs.

Read the interview here:

A conversation with Donald Breckenridge about our new books, volkswagens, emmanuel bove, and boris the bear…


Over at the FSG Work in Progress blog, Donald Breckenridge and I have a chat. Read the conversation here.



Cyborgs, comic book superheroes, protesters in the streets, disenfranchised artists, first-generation immigrants struggling to assimilate—all these outsiders, outcasts, and oddballs have more in common with each other than one might think, as Eugene Lim’s novel Dear Cyborgs beautifully illustrates. Blending Hollywood chase scenes with sharp cultural critiques, hard-boiled detective pulps with subversive philosophy, Dear Cyborgs is a playful and profound meditation on resisting oppression and alienation. Donald Breckenridge is the fiction editor of The Brooklyn Rail and author of And Then, a novel about desolation, regret, and a “father’s long decline into humiliation and death.” Here the two longtime friends talk about the foreign filmmakers and authors who have inspired them to embrace their own “outsider-ness” as “helplessly American” artists and citizens.


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