A young translator living in Toronto frequently travels abroad—to Hong Kong, Macau, Prague, Tokyo—often with his unnamed lover. In restaurants and hotel rooms, the couple begin telling folk tales to each other, perhaps as a way to fill the undefined space between them. Theirs is a comic and enigmatic relationship in which emotions are often muted and sometimes masked by verbal play and philosophical questions, and further complicated by the woman’s frequent unexplained disappearances.
You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked. is an intimate novel of memory and longing that challenges Western tropes and Orientalism. Embracing the playful surrealism of Haruki Murakami and the atmospheric narratives of filmmaker Wong Kar-wai, Sheung-King’s debut is at once lyrical and punctuated, and wholly unique, and marks the arrival of a bold new voice in Canadian literature.
Praise for You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked.:
“Sheung-King has written a wonderfully unexpected and maverick love story but also a novel of ideas that hopscotches between Toronto, Macau, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Prague. It is enchanting, funny, and a joy to read.”
—Kyo Maclear, author of Birds Art Life
“A tale of two rich and rootless people that oozes the horror and confusion of love, while staying somehow still desperately romantic, and so gloriously sad. This novel is also about something else: it gives the cold shoulder to the dominant gaze and its demands to control the Asian body, carving out a thrilling space beyond whiteness. I didn’t want it to end.”—Thea Lim, author of An Ocean of Minutes, a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize
Most Anticipated: Our 2020 Fall Fiction Preview —49th Shelf
60 Works of Canadian Fiction Coming out in Fall 2020 —CBC Books
Fiction We Can’t Wait to Read This Fall —49th Shelf
“This rare, arresting book asks the reader to hold a pair of lovers close. A beautiful, intelligent portrait of estrangement and intimacy.” —Casey Plett, Chatelaine
“You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked. shines in the way it challenges “classic” (read: European) notions of form and structure. The book is told in the second person, defying the more commonly used first- or third-person perspectives, to put the reader – no matter your background – inside the narrator’s lived experienced.” —Jen Rawlinson, Hamilton Review of Books
Launchpad: YOU ARE EATING AN ORANGE. YOU ARE NAKED. by Sheung-King —49th Shelf
In “You Are Eating An Orange. You Are Naked.” the 2010s have never looked so 1770s —Brett Josef Grubisic, Toronto Star
“Sheung-King’s You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked. is an enthralling debut.” —Amanda Brown, The Puritan
Sheung-King is a writer and educator. His work has appeared in PRISM International, The Shanghai Literary Review, and The Humber Literary Review, among others. He is currently a lecturer at the University of Guelph and Sheridan College. You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked. is Sheung-King’s debut book. Originally from Hong Kong, he lives in Toronto.