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What do we think we desire? What do we truly desire? These are the two competing forces underlying Xu Xi’s latest fiction collection Access. These thirteen tales are at once acerbic and heartbreaking, directing our gaze at the incongruities of human relations and the persistence of wounds our hearts cannot heal. Those in the multi culti world of these fictions seek answers to questions they have yet to learn to ask. But every so often they glimpse an entry point, and these sightings offer reason to hope, even if access will again be denied, as it inevitably is, for those whose desires strain towards perfection in our highly imperfect world.