I love stories about sibling relationships. Here, Lulu and the narrator are twins that escaped China’s one child policy and take very different paths in life. It’s a story about social media, political unrest and eSports, and has a classic feel despite its very contemporary subject matter. Apparently, Chen worked as an investigative reporter before writing fiction, which might explain her exacting style. Her collection’s just come out in the UK and I’m excited to read more of her other stories.
First published in The New Yorker, April 2019 and available for subscribers to read here; collected in Land of Big Numbers, Simon & Schuster 2021