Exploring social, cultural, and sexual identities in New York, Shanghai, and beyond, Mike Fu’s MASQUERADE is a skillfully layered, brilliantly interwoven debut novel for readers of Jason Mott’s A Hell Of A Book and Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy.

by Mike Fu
Tin House, October 2024
(via The Friedrich Agency)

Newly single Meadow Liu is house-sitting for his friend, artist Selma Shimizu, when he stumbles upon The Masquerade, a translated novel about a masked ball in 1930s Shanghai. The author’s name is the same as Meadow’s own in Chinese, Liu Tian–a coincidence that proves to be the first of many strange happenings. Over the course of a single summer, Meadow must contend with a possibly haunted apartment, a mirror that plays tricks, a stranger speaking in riddles at the bar where he works, as well as a startling revelation about a former lover. And when Selma vanishes from her artist residency, Meadow is forced to question everything he knows as the boundaries between real and imagined begin to blur.

Mike Fu is a Tokyo-based writer, editor, and translator. He is a co-founder and editor of The Shanghai Literary Review, and currently teaches fiction and translation at Antioch University’s MFA in Creative Writing program.

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