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Zou Lei, orphan of the desert, migrates to work in America and finds herself slaving in New York's kitchens.She falls in love with a young man whose heart has been broken in another desert.This book comes to terrify writers of the sort of Don Delillo, Eugene Marten (if one can remember their names after reading Atticus), and the multitudinous folderol of realism.

She has been detained before, and is haunted be the fear of being caught again, as she works in the back of a restaurant and pays 0 a week to sleep in one box of many in a small apartment.

The book's heart lies in the love between the two of them, which is warm and tender the way the rest of its world isn't.

Theirs is a relationship built on a shared knowledge of the world's frustrations that circumvents any communication issues through the mechanics of bodies touching.

A new life may be possible if together they can survive homelessness, lockup, and the young man's nightmares, which may be more prophecy than madness.

Lish (Life Is with People) turns to fiction with this stunning debut novel that plums the underbelly of New York City, tracing the relationship of Zou Lei, a Chinese immigrant working in a tiny noodle restaurant, and Skinner, an AWOL Iraqi war veteran and wanderer.

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