The collection’s purpose—and indeed, the presence of Nguyen’s mother makes this collection feel more purpose-driven than preceding volumes, as the multitudinous perspectives of each poem accumulate into a wondrous sprawl—is to nourish the reader with tales of Diệp’s daring as a young woman and flying motorcycle artist before having left Vietnam.
Nhu Le -
Seven of Infinities is set in the Xuya Universe, an alternate future universe where Asian empires, including Đại Việt, won the space race and spread across the galaxies. In a quiet corner of Đại Việt’s empire hides Vân, a scholar who elects to spend her days tutoring a student rather than aspiring to pass the imperial exams due to secrets she divulges to no one.
Hai-Dang Phan, however, is not interested in simply pathologizing his parents; nor does he pretend that he can be an adequate storyteller of their pasts. Rather, Phan lingers within the liminality of reenactments, not just as an imperfect portal into history, but as a mysterious realm in its own right.