Peter Tieryas Liu, Watering Heaven: Review

A brilliant and sublime review of my first collection, Watering Heaven, by the Short Review. Big thanks to Elaine Chiew for writing such a thoughtful review and also to editor Diane Becker!

The Short Review

Watering Heaven
by Peter Tieryas Liu

Signal8Press, 2012

Reviewed by Elaine Chiew

“‘It’s silence I want to hear,’ he said.  ‘That single instance where a person is bare and pure and doesn’t know how to feel. The silence that follows.  That’s all.'”

The short stories in Peter Tieryas Liu’s sparkling debut flirt with the contours of magical realism, but they aren’t magical realism, not the way magical realism has been done, i.e. a fantastical element taking its place alongside the entirely mundane and normal as if it’s completely natural to do so. I’d say they go beyond magical realism — to use a term that Liu himself uses in a story in this collection, Urban Dreamers, these stories are gritty “fantasy gone awry”, more Etgar Keret than Gabriel Garcia Marquez. For example, in Chronology of an Egg, the protagonist meets a girl who lays an egg every time she…

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