When he reached the age of 767, Peng Zu was sought after by the benevolent Emperor Yao, who wished to receive advice on ruling the nation. Peng Zu made a thick soup for the emperor out of pheasant, Job’s tear seeds and plums, well salted. Eating the dish, the emperor felt as if he were sitting on air. He was filled with a deep cosmic joy in which he saw everything clearly.
“You see,” Peng Zu said, “the gravest problems of state can be resolved over a bowl of soup. The people, seeing you live frugally will not resent you. When the ruler is calm, the nation is calm.”
Learn of the outrageous and sometimes dubious lives of Peng Zu and fifty other notorious cooks from the pages of history and legend, in a picaresque dictionary of delicious and playful story-telling.
About The Author
Brendan Connell was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1970. He has had fiction published in numerous places, including McSweeney’s, Adbusters, and the World Fantasy Award winning anthologies Leviathan 3 (The Ministry of Whimsy 2002), and Strange Tales (Tartarus Press 2003). His published books are: The Translation of Father Torturo (Prime Books, 2005), Dr. Black and the Guerrillia (Grafitisk Press, 2005), Metrophilias (Better Non Sequitur, 2010), Unpleasant Tales (Eibonvale Press, 2010), The Life of Polycrates and Other Stories for Antiquated Children (Chômu Press, 2011), and The Architect (PS Publishing, 2012).
What People Say About Previous Work
With the yellow flag of Neo-Decadence lofted high, Connell exhumes the corpse of Mother Image and heaves it rank and rotting onto the tidy flowerbed of realist fiction. With their emphasis on sensation, texture, furnishings, and the nervous system, through the perceptions of characters ranging from ancient Greek tyrants to etiolated English aristocrats, libidinally-tormented popes, transvestite big-game hunters and Des Esseintes himself, The Life of Polycrates is a baedeker of the resurgent stylistic impulses linking the fin-de-siecle past to the Ornamentalist future.
“[Connell] is a master of language, an endlessly inventive wordsmith who writes with a poet’s eye and vision . . .”
Peter Tennant, Black Static
“Connell is nothing if not inventive, diverse and sublimely witty.”