Through this weird, funny, deeply earnest book about a killer alien who doesn’t fit in on Earth, Min has crafted a queer novel about feeling out of place in one’s body and its surroundings ... Mumu’s deep desire for community — and the momentary burst of love they have with a particularly sensuous lover late in the book — are where the book achieves emotional depth. But Walking Practice is a slim novel and this arc is underdeveloped in favor of cultural commentary that, for all the alien’s layers and folds, stays largely flat, rarely deepening beyond what feel like somewhat predictable social observations. Still, the evident pleasure with which Min has drawn this character makes for a vibrant and memorable fictional encounter with an otherness that’s not, in the end, so different.
It’s easy to identify Min’s real-world targets: online dating, body image, gender identity, and the literal alienation of everyday life. But Min’s version of a fish out of water is still entertaining and surprising ... Despite its murderousness, the narrator is a remarkably sympathetic character. Its laments are ours, especially when we seek connection.
Min probes themes such as gender and otherness in this provocative if clunky story ... Abstract illustrations by Min hint at the narrator’s private bodily state, and clever changes in the formatting indicate whether the narrator is in their natural or human form. Though the prose is sometimes stilted, the narrator’s earnest struggles with loneliness feel genuine. Despite some missteps, this is worth a look.