The Tiger Flu

Author(s): Larissa Lai

Fiction | Fiction

In this visionary novel by Larissa Lai -- her first in sixteen years -- a community of parthenogenic women, sent into exile by patriarchal and corporate Salt Water City, go to war against disease, technology, and an economic system that threatens them with extinction.


Kirilow is a doctor apprentice whose lover, Peristrophe, is a "starfish," a woman who can regenerate her own limbs and organs, which she uses to help her clone sisters whose organs are failing. When a denizen from Salt Water City suffering from a mysterious flu comes into their midst, Peristrophe becomes infected and dies, prompting Kirilow to travel to the city, where the flu is now a pandemic, to find a new starfish who will help save her sisters. There, Kirilow meets Kora, a girl-woman desperate to save her family from the epidemic. Kora has everything Kirilow is looking for, except the will to abandon her own family. But before Kirilow can convince her, both are kidnapped by a mysterious group of men to serve as test subjects for a new technology that can cure the mind of the body.


Bold, beautiful, and wildly imaginative, The Tiger Flu is at once a saga of two women heroes, a cyberpunk thriller, and a convention-breaking cautionary tale -- a striking metaphor for our complicated times.

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Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction 2019

"The Tiger Flu isn't just the story we want. It's the kind of story that we need, that we deserve, that we have been waiting for in this time of utopian dreaming and dystopian reality. It's a gift, and a reminder: We can be more than what we've been offered. We must choose more. We must choose each other, and life." --Autostraddle

"A compelling cyberpunk thriller ... Lai draws inspiration from the feminist science fiction of Marge Piercy and Joanna Russ, exploring questions of reproduction, lesbian separatism, and biopolitics in the often absurdist and even surrealist world of Salt Water City." --Booklist

"Starting with an atmospheric opening page, in The Tiger Flu, Larissa Lai goes wholly maximalist in her world-building ... A surprisingly enchanting vision of post-Peak Oil dystopia." --Toronto Star

"A compelling read about ostracization, disease, technology, tolerance, and survival in a society facing extinction from a horrific pandemic." --The Advocate("Best Books of the Year")

"A tantalizing novel, replete with the kind of detail that recalls the world of Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy yet belongs to another territory entirely, thrillingly its own. With Atwood you're in a world that's odd but recognizable, whereas with Lai, you're in a world that's completely strange--until it shocks you with a flash of the familiar." --Quill and Quire

Larissa Lai is the author of two novels, When Fox Is a Thousand and Salt Fish Girl; two poetry collections, sybil unrest and Automaton Biographies; and a critical nonfiction book Slanting I, Imagining We. A Canada Research Chair at the University of Calgary, she directs the Insurgent Architects' House for Creative Writing.

General Fields

  • : 9781551527314
  • : Arsenal Pulp Press
  • : Arsenal Pulp Press
  • : October 2018
  • : December 2018
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 296
  • : Larissa Lai
  • : Paperback
  • : English
  • : 813/.54