Reviews

Book Review: 36 Ways of Writing a Vietnamese Poem

While raw and brutalist in its self-critique, Le’s poetry also grants grace to the immigrant child who becomes a writer.

Book Review: The Manicurist’s Daughter

The body is a major theme in Lieu’s stories. The body that exists pluralistically, that takes up multiple cultural spaces, the body as a refugee, and as a body that exists in a culture that promotes ridiculous beauty standards.

Book Review: The Manicurist’s Daughter by Susan Lieu

About five years ago, I watched Susan Lieu perform her one-woman show, 140LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother as part of the Center for Asian American Media’s CAAMFest in San Francisco. The show captured Susan’s journey as she tried to piece together portraits of her mother in search of answers to about 100 questions she had, a reasonable amount for any child who unexpectedly lost their mother at 11. I left the show emotionally shattered and distraught, deeply feeling the pain and grief that Susan lay bare on stage.

Make _________ Great Again

The running thread throughout the selected works as addressing boundaries and borders, what’s considered in and out of a state, the inner and outer, and the private and public spheres of the social, economic, and political.

Book Review: The Veil Between Two Worlds by Christina Vo

Christina Vo’s debut memoir, The Veil Between Two Worlds: A Memoir of Silence, Loss, and Finding Home, is akin to a spiritual awakening after a long slumber, a salve to a throbbing, persistent wound. The book centers around Vo’s mid-life experience and family trauma, expanding and contracting between the past and present, the physical and spiritual, the mental and emotional. It explores questions of How did I get here? Why can’t I let go of these past wounds? What is my purpose in life?

Book Review: Here I Am, Burn Me by Kimberly Nguyễn

Kimberly Nguyen’s words are a punch in the gut, an inspiration, and an evocation of nostalgia, grief, pain, and hope—all at once. Her poems navigate the complexities of life through many lenses: history of the war torn homeland, the journey to reclaiming and preserving the mother language, growing up as chi hai, the “eldest daughter of an eldest daughter of an eldest daughter,” and complicated family relationships. The collection does not leave any topic untouched, and the reader will turn the pages with their heart in their throat.