Suppose if, like Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible, you were to lower yourself slowly into his mind, you would see something like a cylindrical structure around you (you are suspended on a tight black steel cable barely a hair’s breadth away from the ground because the alarm would trigger if any part of you brushed up against any one of the glowing red laser beams), lined with glass panels or screens, and you could see on them, each playing something different simultaneously, images like: figures leaping off a skyscraper, falling (the most natural motion of bodies), slowly, in an almost choreography, even occasionally lifted up by the wind (tight black steel cables again) like leaves; a kimono being ripped apart down the middle of a woman; the moon like a Cheshire grin; a group of men (like in Claire Denis’ Beau Travail) sunbathing in the nude on a white sand beach—the men, with glistening bronze bodies, are not doing anything except lying on the sand, basking under the noon sun separately and individually, being surrounded by carcasses, skeletal fragments, of fish, shellfish, seagulls and other birds, bleached, empty spiral conchs, and rocks eroded to the point of becoming like porous sponges, with thousands of little holes, through some of which you could see to the other side, the entire scene being silent, except for sounds of waves and wind…et cetera, remnants of dreams like that…
2015, Deerbrook Editions
2015 Housatonic Book Award
2015 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature
2015 Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book Award
When serotonin levels in the brain are pulled to their highest, aching peak.
When the soul ventures away from its cage.
When a woman exchanged stories for her life.
When men, drunk, spoke to each other of love.
Night is when ‘ghosts and demons are most powerful,’ when men turn into wolves.
Night is for dreamers. Night is for insomniacs.
Night is death. Night is rest. Night is wandering.
Night is waiting.
‘Hsu’s attempt at jotting down those little epiphanies, fleeting moments, small joys and silent pains that fill up our lives, is like a photographer’s effort to capture a pose’s pause. The vanity of such an endeavour is, paradoxically, what makes the reading of Middle of the Night a deeply moving experience.’
– Paul Giffard-Foret, review in Mascara