107 pages 3 hours read

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

Fiction | Short Story Collection | Adult | Published in 2016

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The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

  • Genre: Cross-genre short stories (science fiction, fantasy, noir, and magical realism)
  • Originally Published: 2011
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 950L; grades 9-12; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: 15 separate stories; approx. 464 pages; approx. 15 hours, 41 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: This collection of stories features primarily Asian protagonists facing immigrant experiences, implications of advanced technology, and other challenges.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Graphic violence and murder; sexual assault; suicide

Ken Liu, Author

  • Bio: Born in Lanzhou, China, in 1976; worked as a software engineer, a corporate lawyer, and a high-tech litigation consultant before becoming a full-time writer; frequently speaks at conferences on topics ranging from cryptocurrency to futurism to the mathematics of origami; lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts
  • Other Works: The Grace of Kings (2016); The Hidden Girl and Other Stories (2020); The Veiled Throne (2021); Speaking Bones (2022)
  • Awards: Nebula, Hugo, World Fantasy, and Locus awards for various stories in the collection

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Storytelling as a Universal Constant
  • The Essence of Memory and Erasure of the Past
  • The Immigrant Experience in America

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Develop an understanding of cultural issues and genre as a context for reading the stories in collection.