Eugene Lim Faces the Transformative Power of Grief

October 7, 2021

At Poets & Writers, Eugene Lim discusses his newest novel, Search History, which examines grief through his signature mix of the mundane and extraordinary. “Even if there are many things going on in it, I think at its heart this novel is a book about grief,” Lim says. “And writing about that subject while enduring its wound makes you doubt yourself, makes you wonder whether one is being honest or honoring or insensitive or sentimentalizing. I wanted to articulate and be honest to the emotion of grief but also I wanted it to be both original and transformed by and into fiction—not so that the emotion was made into mere artifice but so that the artifice and strong emotions could stand together without either feeling manipulated or made false by the other.”

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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