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  • Sceptre

Things to Make and Break

May-Lan Tan

4 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A sublime and provocative debut from one of the UK's most exciting new writers, for fans of Miranda July, Carmen Maria Machado and Lydia Davis.


A motorcycle courier finds a cache of nude photos in her boyfriend's desk. The daughter of East German emigrants encounters her doppelganger, who has crossed another cultural divide. Twin brothers fall for the same girl. When a stripper receives an enigmatic proposal from a client, she accepts, ignorant of its terms.

Shadows, doubles, and the ghosts of past and future lovers haunt these elegantly structured and often hallucinatory stories. The language is hypnotic, deadpan, intense; the sentences jewel-hard and sublime. THINGS TO MAKE AND BREAK is the work of a stylish, exuberant new voice in modern fiction.

'Quite dazzling' TLS

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Praise for Things to Make and Break

  • Quite dazzling. - TLS

  • Mind-blowingly good - PANK

  • There's plenty of darkness and a sprinkling of magic, and these strange, flinty, cigarette-stained narratives speed by, offering lots of surface tension and compelling deeper passions. - Guardian

  • A visceral collection ... There's an irresistible tautness to Tan's writing style, and she looks at her characters with such clear-eyed sensitivity that, as a reader, you can barely tear your eyes away. - AnOther magazine

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