Short story collection, published by Nightwood Editions, 2014.
Building on the success of the Journey Prize-shortlisted title story, the stories of How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun? present an updated and whimsical new take on what it means to be Canadian. Lau alludes to the personal and political histories of a number of young Asian Canadian characters to explain their unique perspectives of the world, artfully fusing pure delusion and abstract perception with heartbreaking reality. Correspondingly, the book’s title refers to an interview with Chinese basketball star Yao Ming, who when asked about the Shanghai Sharks, the team that shaped his formative sporting years, responded, “How does a single blade of grass thank the sun?” Lau’s stories feature the children and grandchildren of immigrants, transnational adoptees and multiracial adults who came of age in the 1990s—all struggling to find a place in the Western world and using the only language they know to express their hopes, fears and expectations.