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K-Ming Chang

May 21 @ 7:00 pm

K-Ming Chang in conversation with Jemimah Wei

City Lights and Coffee House Press celebrate the publication of


by K-Ming Chang

Published by Coffee House Press

as part of its NVLA Series

An erotic, surreal novella from the author of Organ Meats and Bestiary.

Seven, who works as a cleaner at a chiropractor’s office, reencounters Cecilia, a woman who has obsessed her since their school days. As the two of them board the same bus—each dubiously claiming not to be following the other—their chance meeting spurs a series of intensely vivid and corporeal memories. As past and present bleed together, Seven can feel her desire begin to unmoor her from the flow of time.

Smart, subversive, and gripping, Cecilia is a winding, misty road trip through bodily transformation, the inextricable histories of violence and love, and the ghosts of girlhood friendship.

K-Ming Chang is a novelist and poet. She is a Kundiman fellow, a Lambda Literary Award winner, a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, and an O. Henry Prize Winner. She is the author of the novel BESTIARY (One World/Random House, 2020), which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the Otherwise Award. In 2021, her chapbook BONE HOUSE was published by Bull City Press. Her story collection GODS OF WANT (One World/Random House) won a Lambda Literary Award. Her latest novel is ORGAN MEATS (One World, 2023) To learn more visit: https://www.kmingchang.com/

Jemimah Wei is the author of The Original Daughter, forthcoming 2025 from Doubleday Books. Born and raised in Singapore, she is currently based in the Bay Area, where she is a 2022-4 Stegner Fellow. A recipient of awards and fellowships from Columbia University, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Singapore’s National Arts Council, and Writers in Paradise, she has been named one of Narrative’s “30 below 30” writers, recognised by the Best of the Net Anthologies, and is a Francine Ringold Award for New Writers honouree. Her fiction has won the William Van Dyke Short Story Prize, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and is published in Guernica, Narrative, and Nimrod, amongst others. A host for various broadcast and digital channels, she has written and produced short films and travel guides for Laneige, Airbnb, and Nikon. Say hi at @jemmawei on socials or jemmawei.com

Coffee House Press’s NVLA series is an artistic playground where authors challenge and broaden the outer edges of storytelling. Each novella illuminates the capacious and often overlooked space of possibilities between short stories and novels. Unified by Sarah Evenson’s bold and expressive series design, NVLA places works as compact as they are complex in conversation to demonstrate the infinite potential of the form.

Praise for Cecilia

“The fantastic and the mundane marry each other like crows on the phantasmagoric pages of Cecilia. K-Ming Chang’s work is bioluminescent and breathtaking. Sharply written and ecologically aware, Cecilia is a magnificent, magical work that will redefine speculative writing for years to come.” —Vi Khi Nao

“K-Ming Chang’s spell-binding tale of queer desire moved me to tears by the end. Seven’s obsession with Cecilia is rendered through lyrical prose that startled and it is to want someone you are destined to lose. The narrative voice got under my skin and I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters’ fierce hunger for the freedom to be themselves.” —Nghiem Tran

“An incendiary look at desire’s ability to bind and destroy. Fierce, erotic, devastating: Cecilia is a work of genius.” —Brynne Rebele-Henry

Cecilia is one of those rare reads bursting with staggering imagination and poetry that makes you feel you’re having an out-of-body experience with the turn of every page. Not only that, it’s also incredibly profound, often disturbing and funny.” —Fernando A. Flores

“Rowdy and razor-sharp, luminescent and enchanting, K-Ming Chang is an utter master of the strange intimacies of the body. To read her work feels like shining a flashlight, finally, on the secret desires and aches that you’ve always wanted to glimpse.” —Alexandra Kleeman

This event is made possible by support from the City Lights Foundation


May 21
7:00 pm


City Lights Bookstore
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City Lights
261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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