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Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé

[Grey Sparrow Press / Squircle Line Press]

344 pages

“Among the many things to like in Desmond Kon’s Singular Acts of Endearment are his skillful ways with tone and voice, making every sentence a pleasure to read. The writing is intelligent yet somehow guileless; seemingly uncontrived yet never strikes a false note; unmistakably contemporary yet unaffected by fashionable irony and insincerity. Here’s narrative by a true storyteller, who cares about the reader as well as the characters he creates, who dares to be as moved by their lives as we are.”

Frank Stewart

Recipient of Whiting Writers’ Award

“Despite its own gleeful riffs on unreadability, Singular Acts of Endearment is utterly engrossing. A Theory of Everything (Literary) and a Theory of Nothingness, at least as applied to contemporary Singapore, this novel is a celebration of the sacred and the profane, the sublime and the ridiculous. It is simultaneously lament and celebration, formal exercise and freeform improvisation: it is exhilarating.”

Valerie Sayers

Recipient of NEA Arts Literature Fellowship

“Congratulations on this novel, which looks like Desmond Kon's characteristically beautiful and provocative work with its blend of existentialist, magical realist, koanic and Aristophanic elements, among many others. I am very happy that angels make an appearance here. And a holy tree! The trees, roaches, and sharks, of course, may be all that's left of the eukaryotes once we are done with this lovely planet.”

Kimberley C. Patton

Recipient of American Academy of Religion Book Award

“Recalling Nicholson Baker’s The Anthologist and Chu T'ien-wen’s Notes of

a Desolate Man, Desmond Kon’s erudite new book is rooted in discovery — with thrilling excursions into poststructuralist theory, fashion, pop culture, religion, film, botany, and Singaporean trivia. Don’t be fooled by the faux modesty of the preface; Kon’s ligature-loosened kueh lapis text is gloriously readable — and a singular work of art.”

Lee Yew Leong

Editor-in-Chief of Asymptote

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