Tomb Sweeping by Alexandra Chang

An exquisite and deeply layered collection of fifteen short stories from the acclaimed author of Days of Distraction. Alexandra Chang pulled me deep into the lives of her characters, their emotions, and surroundings. A few stories I will sure return to will be “Li Fan” about a widowed bottle collector. The residents only know what she does for a living, but not what she has given up. “Cure for Life” is about the complications that arise when a twenty-four-year-old grocery store worker named Bobby Green befriends his younger female colleague.

“Me and my Algo” is an extremely thought-provoking tale. While I think every story in the book is worth reading, this is an absolute stand-out, and one that will appeal to many, as technology continues to consume our lives.

The writing in this book is powerful, and at all times engaging. With themes of young love, immigrant families bonding and breaking, loss of identity, and the hopes and dreams we carry with us as humans.

With short stories, it can often be a gamble. Perhaps you like a few in a collection, but aren't as drawn to the others. I’ll be honest and tell you that I read this book cover to cover in a couple of sittings. I couldn’t wait to pick it up again. Chang’s stories are addicting. I finished the last one, and went searching for more of her writing.

Alana Davis Photography

Alexandra Chang is the author of Days of Distraction. She is a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, and her writing has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Guernica, and elsewhere. She lives in Ventura County. 

Tomb Sweeping is available for order in paperback, e-book, and audiobook format. Check,, or HarperCollins Canada for a distributor near you.

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