Still Life illuminates the ways we grieve, how we make sense of tragedy and devastating loss, and how a broken family can escape a heartbreaking past…In deft strokes, Sie both skewers and celebrates culture, with Las Vegas almost becoming a character infused with artifice and promise.
Bay Area Reporter -
An innovative and engaging first novel…adults will be transfixed by this story of family dysfunction and the redemption of a teen coming out.
Lambda Literary -
James Sie’s Still Live Las Vegas stands tall alongside a number of other glorious debuts... Sie’s novel is a fascinating hybrid of family dysfunction, graphic narrative, and the traditional bildungsroman.
Asian American Literature Fans -
A swirl of mythology and collective memory, a jumble of times and places overlaid, like half-dreamt palimpsests, on one young man’s circumscribed world...At rendering matters of grief and of memory, Mr. Sie and Ms. Choi are masterful. So too do they craft a gripping narrative...Mr. Sie’s emotional realism ensured a riveting read.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -
A wonderful and both heart wrenching and heartwarming read replete with illustrations. Debut writer James Sie brings together the everyday with the world of surprises as he tells his story of family, love and sexual awakening. To read this book is to fall under its spell and hope it never ends...
Amos Lassen -
STILL LIFE LAS VEGAS is one of the most startlingly assured debut novels I’ve ever read. James Sie’s writing is gorgeous and the story is heartbreaking, a masterful journey through memory and into unseen Las Vegas. Sie goes behind the swarms of tourists and kitsch and gets under the skins of the electric desert city’s real people. I am in awe.
Augusten Burroughs - Running With Scissors
The stories are haunting, a quality that is beautifully captured by artist Choi’s interpolated graphic novel chapters that expand and complement the text. Sie’s first novel is richly imagined and beautifully written with a well-realized setting and memorable characters. Together they make for an altogether auspicious debut.
Sie's debut novel is an often mesmerizing look at grief and coming of age...Engrossing.
Publishers Weekly -
James Sie took me on the most amazing ride. Intriguing, textured characters fill this debut novel. The charming illustrations compliment this gem of a story that will forever change how we see that (in)famous desert city of Las Vegas.
Noel Alumit - Letters to Montgomery Clift and Talking to the Moon
STILL LIFE LAS VEGAS is powerful, comical, and it breaks your heart. With a deft touch, Sie manages to combine mystery and misery, romance and retribution, and Greek myths with the wild world of Las Vegas entertainers and miscreants. I did not want it to end.
Diana Wagman - The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets
STILL LIFE LAS VEGAS is an astonishing mix of word and image, humor and heart.
Gene Luen Yang - Author & Illustrator, Boxers/Saints
Wildly inventive, emotionally raw, and brimming with palpable desire, James Sie's STILL LIFE LAS VEGAS is as vibrant and unabashedly weird as it is elegiac. A truly visionary debut.
Gina Frangello - author of A Life in Men
With humor and a fresh literary voice, STILL LIFE LAS VEGAS tells a family story that is unique yet straight to the heart. James Sie's poignant and funny debut, with dynamic illustrations by Sungyoon Choi sparkles with originality.