Setting Fire to Water is Phoebe Tsang’s debut collection of stories that illuminates the lives of those who exist inside otherness: shifting restlessly from dark to light and back again, written in lithe, precise prose. A young Asian woman, an artistic over-achiever turned drifter, endures a mind-bending night of reckoning as she struggles to find her way “home,” careening between flirtation and thievery, dream and memory. A reality TV star obsesses about the real stain that blemishes the set of her fake, made-for-TV life. A modern fairytale is told from the point of view of a fox having an argument with its enemy, hunger. A heart-broken accountant goes on a pilgrimage to India to get his fire back, and his attempt to attain mercy from the most holy of rivers fizzles like his former fiancée’s tepid devotion.