profile in the Village Voice

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thanks to Ross Barkan.

[and additional thanks for the illustration to Mich Yeh. you can find her work here, here, and here.]

There’s a point in Eugene Lim’s slim, haunting new novel, Dear Cyborgs, where the cyborgs finally reveal themselves. They are not, it turns out, cybernetic crime-fighters or machine killers with human hearts and laser blaster hands.

“When I say cyborgs, of course I mean us,” Lim writes, laying bare what lies at the crux of his project, an unusual book now drawing the sorts of critical accolades that should vault him into the first rank of American writers. The New Yorker and New York magazine were laudatory. Jonathan Lethem said the novel blew him away.

read the rest here: https://www.villagevoice.com/2017/08/15/how-eugene-lims-dear-cyborgs-explores-life-death-and-asian-identity/

Interview at Kartika Review

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Thanks to Paul Lai for this interview in the latest issue of the Karikta Review.

Eugene Lim is a singular voice in contemporary American literature—read one of his novels, and you’ll never forget the stories, characters, and atmosphere he evokes in his quasi-dreamlike narratives. His first novel Fog & Car (Ellipsis Press, 2008) traces the diverging and converging paths of a recently divorced couple. The man settles into a quiet life in a small town while the woman starts anew in New York City, and the people who enter their post-marriage lives are not always as disconnected from their married lives as they may seem. In his second novel, The Strangers (Black Square Press, 2013), a larger cast of characters centers around various twins separated by geographical distance as well as starkly different worlds. His third novel, Dear Cyborgs (FSG Originals, 2017), is framed by the story of childhood friends who re-encounter each other later in life, and the stories within this frame consider spies, superheroes, and very pointed commentaries on protest and art. In all three novels, Lim explores resonances, coincidences, and links between characters that bring up questions of fate or otherworldly design. He carries over names between novels as well, so even though the novels seem to concern very different characters and worlds, there is a semblance of continuity that lingers.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Lim’s novels is that the worlds he creates seem at once generic (with a timeless, universal quality) while also strongly rooted in contemporary political concerns. In his latest novel, Dear Cyborgs, for instance, the characters reference South Korean activist Kim Jin-suk who famously spent a year on top of a construction crane; Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden; the Occupy movement in the United States; and the large scale anti-war protests during the build-up to and start of the second Iraq/Gulf War. Lim also includes Asian American characters and narrators regularly in his novels though the plots and themes generally engage obliquely, maybe allusively, with more traditional narratives of racialization. Overall, at least for me as a reader, Lim’s novels also present a haunting atmosphere that treads on possible supernatural elements without tipping over into outright horror or fantasy. We are excited to talk to the author about his writing and working life in the interview that follows…

Read the interview at the Kartika Review.

Interview at The Millions

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Thanks to Evan Allgood for this interview.

Eugene Lim will not choose between superheroes and soliloquies. His new novel, Dear Cyborgs, shifts between quick bursts of pulpy action and long philosophical monologues. Characters kidnap, shoot, and poison one other, then weigh the merits of protest and relay brushes with gentrification. Capitalism looms over the book like one of Marvel’s Sentinels — inescapable, maybe indestructible. Low art sits next to high, smudging the hierarchy. The term “thoughtful dystopian romp” comes to mind. The year or universe is hazy, but we can make out some of our less fine hours, our targeted ads. Two worlds slide together and a third comes into focus. Is this how people write in the future?

Lim and I exchanged emails about the value of protest, the act of reading as resistance, and the death and rebirth of the novel.

Read the interview at The Millions.

Interview on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate show

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Eugene Lim joins us to discuss his novel Dear Cyborgs. The novel begins in a small Midwestern town, with two Asian American boys who become friends over their mutual love of comic books. Meanwhile, in an alternate/future universe, Lim tells the story of detective Frank Exit, who is trailing a cultural terrorist named Ms. Mistleto, and their chase around the world.”

Listen to the interview here: http://www.wnyc.org/story/eugene-lim/

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: https://chireviewofbooks.com/2017/06/05/eugene-lim-dear-cyborgs-interview/

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

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

 

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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.

 

Interview at Vol. 1 Brooklyn

The Impossible, The Parallel, The Intimate: A Conversation with Eugene Lim

By  On  · Eugene Lim

Eugene Lim’s novels tread the line between the hypnotically familiar and the surreptitiously terrifying. His latest novel, The Strangers, follows multiple sets of twins through landscapes alternately recognizable and surreal. Underground film scenes, stand-up comedy, shipborne communities, and totalitarian states all appear, and yet the entire work remains even-tempered and cohesive. As the publisher of Ellipsis Press, Lim has ushered books from the likes of Norman Lock and Eugene Marten into the world. As an admirer of both The Strangers and his earlier novel Fog & Car, I was curious to learn more about Lim’s process, and so we checked in earlier this month via email…

Read the interview here: http://www.vol1brooklyn.com/2013/10/23/the-impossible-the-parallel-the-intimate-a-conversation-with-eugene-lim/

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