Home Remedies upends the well-worn immigrant narrative to reveal a different experience of belonging: of young people testing the limits of who they are and who they will one day become, in a world as vast and varied as their ambitions. In 12 stories Xuan Juliana Wang reveals the new face of a generation of Chinese youth.
Home Remedies: Stories turns on the subtleties and insights of poetry, though it is never insistently 'poetic' ... Wang manages this kind of epic grace and ceremony in story after story ... Wang’s description of submerged passion...has captured the physicality of longing alongside the physicality of agility. It is from both that the power of art emanates: in language, sculpture, painting, and dance ... stylistically ambitious in a way rarely seen in prose fiction ... There are, however, stories here that don’t quite measure up...to the very best. But the very best are extraordinary ... Writing like this will never stop enlightening us.
In her debut short story collection Home Remedies, Xuan Juliana Wang writes like she’s steadying herself against everyday whiplash. She has a careful ear and a steady gaze on lives that quietly, seismically shift under the rapid forces of globalization. Her mood is wary and her style is mischievous, but the animating force of her writing is always diligent curiosity ... [Wang's] fiction is chameleon-quick and only casually surreal, just to enough to stay true to the weirdness of living. Her asides are vicious and quick ... The collection is luxe, snaky, and perceptive, pulsing with new ideas about storytelling. The characters living in Home Remedies are written with unleashed tenderness. They’re so present a couple of times, it feels like crawling inside someone’s body and wanting to steer them away from various heartbreaks or self-sacrifices ... Home Remedies pushes against the perception that culture is bounded, and looks at what morphs when cultures shift locations and time.
...vivid snippets of memory, shrouded in emotional complexity. This sense of the ineffable, but achingly tender, courses throughout Wang’s deeply felt debut short story collection ... In Wang’s stories, the disorientation of migration and movement manifests at once loudly and quietly in the lives of a sundry collection of Chinese characters, from violent, wealthy misfit Millennials to accidental fashion stars ... Wang forgoes the typical contours of 'immigrant' perspectives — her stories are less about classical immigrant hardship or overt trauma. Instead, they often claw wistfully at feelings of profound alienation ... Her writing does not feel political, either. Its cultural specificity is driven by something more personal...and also perhaps primal and instinctual ... Wang’s writing began with those whose experience of dislocation is unexpressed in literature ... In Home Remedies her lens remains focused on these individuals, though their lives are translated less as part of the “immigrant experience” than foremost as deeply, universally human.