"Mad Science in Imperial City is humbling, beautifully
mapped and calibrated, wild with imagination, wit, irony. I think it is
one of the most naturally brilliant books I have read of late. Shanxing
Wang brings his engineering genius to his genius for a new magical/radical
language. Many bows in my old mandarin robe to this impressive debut collection."
"Shanxing Wang’s Mad Science in Imperial City is a work of genius. It is intended to be so, and it is saturated with the melancholy and exhibits something of the fear that genius in its machinations may produce. The book is also comic, sometimes desperately and more often happily so; the forces of genius are multiple.
Comprised of four inter-related works—which might also be termed
chapters or perhaps sections of a serial poem—this book escapes
characterization; escape, in fact, is one of its motifs. But it is an
escape carried out paradoxically through invasion—it finds ways
out by finding ways in. The work lays out for itself multiple trajectories,
including some provided by math, mechanics, phantasy, music, film, and
above all by dreams (or are they nightmares?) of life in and out of a
Shanxing Wang was born in Jinzhong, Shanxi Province, China, and educated at Xi’an Jiaotong University. In 1991, he came to the U.S. to pursue a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at University of California at Berkeley. While teaching Engineering at Rutgers University, he began taking courses in Creative Writing and subsequently received a Zora Neale Hurston Scholarship to attend the summer writing program at Naropa University in Colorado. In 2003, he was selected as a finalist for the Pen USA Emerging Voices Rosenthal Fellowship. Mad Science in Imperial City is his first book. He currently lives and writes in Queens, New York.
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