Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5) – It Completes Me!

Short stories have been a relatively new addition to my reading landscape.  “Stories of Your Life and Others” by Ted Chiang was one of the first compilations of short stories I read back in 2016 and this December (2022) I decided to reread it and it was once again an absolute delight!

I will say that this isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to short stories. Chiang dives deep into theology, math and science in a way that can be both intimidating and difficult to navigate at times. I enjoy the challenge of stretching my mind and questioning the frameworks I use subconsciously to understand the world. Chiang is a master at asking huge questions about the meaning of life in deeply personal stories of people and places that seem remote and also undeniably near. 

There are a few absolute gems in this compilation, the title story, “The Story of Your Life” as well as “Tower of Babylon” and “Hell is the Absence of God” are probably my favorite reads. There are a couple that continue to elude me, “Division by Zero” and “Seventy-Two Letters” but even as I do not understand the math and science of these stories respectively, I enjoy the characters and the challenge they pose to my brain. 

All around a first rate book of short stories that I highly recommend if you have the time and inclination to give some brain space to life’s biggest mysteries.

Happy Reading!

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