Kim’s is a “difficult” book, by any definition.

We like that.

China Cowboy is not a platform, a soundbite, a two-party system, monsters v. innocents….

Thus we are delighted to read Travis Macdonald’s review on the Fact-Simile Editions blog, aptly titled “Confronting Kim Gek Lin Short’s China Cowboy.”

Writes Macdonald:

Just like the book’s protagonist, La La, who “…wears all her clothes. Her boots. All three skirts. All the shirts. The panties, many of them…” China Cowboy by Kim Gek Lin Short is an expertly woven story told in tangled layers.

It is the story of an abduction or escape, a brutal love affair or abusive imprisonment, rise to fame or road to perdition, art installation or songbook retrospective. It is each of these things in turn or neither depending on the narrator in charge at any given moment.

Told in turn from the perspectives of each of the book’s primary characters (La La and Ren), China Cowboy is a successfully executed experiment in prosody that simultaneously braids and frays narrative timelines and expectations, bringing the reader to the brink of every sensory extreme and back again. The result is a darkly surreal adventure in perception that leaves one’s nerves exposed and moral fortitude shaken….

Read the full essay at Fact-Simile.