The Dancing Girl and the Turtle by Karen Kao

Critics’ Reviews

Mercilessly brutal, terrifying, compelling.

Kao writes in a minimalist present tense, each word meticulously chosen and exquisitely placed in the manner of a poet. The rhythm of her prose was reminiscent of spoken Chinese.

At first the violence is hinted at, masked, not entirely spelled out, but as the book progresses and the character sink into more and more depravity and despair, Kao does not shrink from telling it like it was. The real power of this novel lies in the gradual unveiling of the brutal realities.

Karen Kao is a master of the Noir. There has got to be more to come?
— Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang, author of The Woman who Lost China

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