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Lost in the 4rest: Experiments in Kishōtenketsu

Kishōtenketsu is an ancient Chinese and Japanese literary structure that presents stories in four distinct parts: ki (introduction), shō (development), ten (surprise), and ketsu (conclusion). Unlike many Western flavors of plot, here surprise supersedes conflict as the foundation of tales worth telling. Part flash fiction, part prose poetry, and across multiple genres, LOST IN THE 4REST collects 52 four-sentence pieces that experiment with this fascinating storytelling tradition. Each selection creates a self-contained world, moment, or emotion held together by shock, wonder, or counterpoint. Together they offer a brief, vivid glimpse into the possibilities of non-Western narrative.