Virtual Craft Chat on Fiction with Cleo Qian

The Writer’s Center presents a FREE virtual chat about the craft of fiction! We’re joined by Cleo Qian to discuss her debut story collection, LET’S GO LET’S GO LET’S GO. Cleo is in conversation with Zach Powers, novelist and Artistic Director at The Writer’s Center.

Cleo Qian is a writer from southern California. Her work has been published in The GuardianShenandoahPleiadesThe Common and elsewhere. She lives in New York City. LET’S GO LET’S GO LET’S GO is her first book.

About the Book

“Qian has a gift for sensory details, and for the speculative and grotesque. . . . a pleasure to read.” —Raven Leilani, author of Luster

The electric, unsettling, and often surreal stories in LET’S GO LET’S GO LET’S GO explore the alienated, technology-mediated lives of restless Asian and Asian American women today. A woman escapes into dating simulations to forget her best friend’s abandonment; a teenager begins to see menacing omens on others’ bodies after her double eyelid surgery; reunited schoolmates are drawn into the Japanese mountains to participate in an uncanny social experiment; a supernatural karaoke machine becomes a K-pop star’s channel for redemption. In every story, characters refuse dutiful, docile stereotypes. They are ready to explode, to question conventions. Their compulsions tangle with unrequited longing and queer desire in their search for something ineffable across cities, countries, and virtual worlds.

With precision and provocation, Cleo Qian’s immersive debut jolts us into the reality of lives fragmented by screens, relentless consumer culture, and the flattening pressures of modern society—and asks how we might hold on to tenderness against the impulses within us.

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