The Balance Tips
by Joy Huang-Iris
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Pub Date 05 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 27 Jul 2021
A Note From the Publisher
• anti-Black racism
• anti-Asian racism
• mental illness
• identity struggles
• intersectional misogyny
• Confucian patriarchy
• familial abuse and estrangement
• financial insecurity
• anti-immigration rhetoric
• internalized shame
• trauma, and
"The Balance Tips is, on its surface, the story of a couple generations of women, sisters Jia and Hua who immigrate to the U.S. from China and Jia's American-born daughter Fay. But bound up in that is the story of cultural difference, assimilation and resistance. Tragedy so often gets played for melodrama, but Huang Clark’s hand is far gentler. The Balance Tips is not the pornography of suffering, though its characters sometimes face deep trauma. The novel begins with an earthquake, and it’s perhaps the steadiest moment of what is a keen and beautifully-told story of the chasms—generational, cultural—that lie between us. These are, all of them, women trying to get a foothold in a world which can only see them as outsiders.
The novel is a seamless blend of genres: poetry, prose, drama, film, documentation. Similar to the works of Kathy Acker, The Balance Tips plays in the language and throws out conventional fictional structures in favor of bricolage, as if the narrative is searching for the right language, inventing from necessity a new way to tell the story of women who don’t quite fit because they are queer, or first generation American, or immigrant, or, well, women. Their lives are already blended and cobbled things; so too should their stories be."
—Alysia Constantine, award-winning author of OLYMPIA KNIFE and LUCKMONKEY.
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