The Tigers in Beijing Wear Suits

The-Beijing-of-Possibilitie

“He read a legend of a girl whose father took pains as she should never go out into the world. But one day she wandered through a gap in the wall before her father found her. ‘What is that creature with fluffy hair that goes baa?’ ‘It is a sheep, my daughter.’ ‘And what is that creature with big dangly things that goes moo?’ ‘It is a cow, my daughter.’ ‘And what is that tall, two-legged, bearded, thrillingly handsome creature that is staring at me?’ ‘It is a tiger, my daughter. If you go close, it will devour you.’ And the girl replied, ‘I have a strange longing to be devoured.’”

-From The Beijing of Possibilities by Jonathan Tel, a collection of stories spanning every genre from magical realism to historical fiction, all taking place within or around Beijing. Read more fiction.

***

We need your help to get to 5,000 Longreads Members.

Join Longreads now and help us keep going.