The Arrival, Tan's exquisite, and wordless, meditation on the immigrant experience, is one of the most extraordinary books that I've read, so I had high expectations for Tales from Outer Suburbia. I'm pleased to say that I wasn't disappointed.
The illustrations are marvelous, of course. And the stories are, as well. Delightful bits of oddness that you wish would lie beneath the seeming normalcy of your neighborhood. Together, they mesh to make a book that is truly gorgeous, a reading experience that is well worth lingering over.
I like Tan best when there is a hint of poignance in his work, so my favorite pieces in the collection were the short story, "Undertow" and the poem, "Distant Rain," which in and of itself, makes the book worth buying.