The Chinese creation myth includes the battle between fire and water. As the battle continues, it shapes the lives and fates of every person. Some will know fire love, the wild passion that passes quickly. For others, there is water love, like the great rivers that defy place and time.
Tinling Choong draws on this powerful legend in FireWife to tell the fictional story of a fledgling photographer, Nin, who leaves her corporate job in California to photograph women throughout the world. Her journey turns into a search for the truth about women: the women of fire and the women of water. At each stopping place, she uncovers the tale of a woman who has been marginalized by her sexuality. In Taipei, she meets Zimi, who leases her forehead as advertising space and wants to donate her eggs to an infertile friend; in Bangkok, she photographs Ut, a fourteen-year-old girl forced into prostitution; in Tokyo, Nin’s subject bares her body so that sushi may be served upon her daily to groups of salivating men. Each of their lives echoes a stage in Nin’s own journey of discovering her raw sexual self, her true fire self.
Original, courageous, and intensely moving, FireWife is a poetic exploration of contemporary Asian women unknowingly connected over time. It introduces an astonishing new literary voice.
“Tinling Choong’s extraordinary work, FIREWIFE, combines psychological depth with mythologically inclined reference points, giving it a remarkable freshness and singularity. FIREWIFE represents the debut of an important artist.” — Robert Stone
“FIREWIFE, Tinling Choong’s first book, is both an absorbing short novel and a brilliant erotic phantasmagoria, as poignantly poetic as it is compelling narrative. This is a strong augmentation of American-Asian literature.” — Harold Bloom