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  • Corsair

Poetry

The breakout collection about grief, loss and living from award-winning Asian American poet Victoria Chang, whose star is rising.

Los Angeles Times Book Prize
PEN Voelcker Award
Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize
New York Times 100 Notable Books
Time Magazine's 100 Must-Read Books
NPR's Best Books
National Book Award in Poetry, Longlist
National Book Critics Circle, Finalist
Griffin Poetry Prize, Shortlist
Frank Sanchez Book Award

After her mother died, poet Victoria Chang refused to write elegies. Rather, she distilled her grief during a feverish two weeks by writing scores of poetic obituaries for all she lost in the world. These poems reinvent the form of newspaper obituary to both name what has died ('civility,' 'language,' 'the future,' 'Mother's blue dress') and the cultural impact of death on the living. Loss, and the love for the dead, becomes a conduit for self-expression. In this unflinching and lyrical book, Chang meets her grief and creates a powerful testament for the living.

'Chang's new collection explores her father's illness and her mother's death, treating mortality as a constantly shifting enigma. A serene acceptance of grief' New York Times, "100 Notable Books of 2020"

'Exceptional... Chang's poems expand and contract to create surprising geometries of language, vividly capturing the grief they explore' Publishers Weekly

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Praise for Obit

  • 'Chang's new collection explores her father's illness and her mother's death, treating mortality as a constantly shifting enigma. A serene acceptance of grief' - The New York Times, "100 Notable Books of 2020"

  • 'Exceptional... Chang's poems expand and contract to create surprising geometries of language, vividly capturing the grief they explore' - Publishers Weekly, starred review

  • 'These are poems that reproduce the logic and feeling of loss?a gift for anyone who has struggled to find words to express grief' - NPR

  • 'Chang has created a unique poetic construct... The feeling of hope is a theme throughout this solid collection, in variations Chang evokes with grace' - Booklist

  • '[Obit] marshals all the resources of poetry against the relentless emotional cascade that's associated with death?and, very much to its credit, and as a testament to its success, the book has arrived at a kind of momentary stalemate against that cascade' - Rick Barot

  • 'Chang is consistently a poet who resurrects mediums, her work living within surprising spaces and forms, and both exposing and surpassing the possibilities for those structures... Chang has the rare poetic talent to follow the edges of dark comedy to find sentiment rather than irony' - The Millions

  • 'Victoria Chang has created something powerful and unconventional. These poems are zinger curveballs' - Los Angeles Review of Books

  • 'Fearless' - Ploughshares

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Victoria Chang

Victoria Chang's latest book of poetry is The Trees Witness Everything. Her nonfiction book, Dear Memory, was published in 2021. OBIT, her prior book of poems was named a New York Times Notable Book, a Time Must-Read Book, and received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Poetry, and the PEN/Voelcker Award. It was also longlisted for a National Book Award and named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Griffin International Poetry Prize. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and lives in Los Angeles and is a faculty member within Antioch's low-residency MFA Program.

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