Pulse by Huei Lin: An Introduction

Updated: 4 days ago

Many of us feel incomplete. We fill our lives with diversions, ambition, belongings, loves, responsibilities; but it’s never enough. The void is felt more keenly with time—when invincible youth shows the first signs of decay. But some of us have always felt this way. We keep looking for something, unsure of what it is we’re looking for.

When I write, I do so from a precarious position. Teetering on the edge, you could say. If I lean too far forward, I’ll simply drop into a dark canyon and never get out. My characters are the same: they exist in a kind of liminal zone, trying to make sense of a material world constantly threatened by dark and surreal forces.

I’m obsessed with nighttime. Generally speaking, I feel more awake at night than I do during the day. Even when I’m asleep.

“Pulse” is a snapshot in time—a contemporary look at transience and desire. It is also a love letter to the city, to young people everywhere just trying to connect. I wrote it when I was, in fact, far from the city; it’s strange how distance and memory can bring objects into focus. The protagonist remembers something from his past, and struggles with a curious physical defect he was born with. Pizza, potato chips, and fire escapes play supporting roles. When the sun comes up, we may have lost something important, but our passage through the night ensures the posterity of memory.

About the book:

A thirty-five year old man born with no heart remembers a night from many years ago. In the company of a woman who enjoys green pepper pizza, he attempts to solve the mystery of his missing heart. She, too, was born with something missing. The two New Yorkers share a tender moment together and discuss the evolution of human consciousness, language, and the primacy of metaphor before yielding to the flow of time. Things change, but the man finds that the persistence of memory holds fast in an erratic, unsentimental world. The city is mad with fantasy and missed connections; and yet, sometimes, we can touch the mirage and keep a piece of it for a rainy day.

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