: how well we take that agony and internalize. Consider this tender section regarding Hoangs nephew: There was a time, before, when the pupils of his eyes were floodlit with evil. I rarely include: my other nephew, Mason, the one whos doing well; my brother, who has bought me fashion; I hate Karl but he finds his way into these essays too. She is sometimes struck by moments of lucidity, when her anxiety is replaced by a sort of genuine wonder at being alive: how to write a good radio programme proposal Face the facts: there is no Other Lily, and Im pretty satisfied with my life. Jade bracelets and the bruises they plant, like seedlings are not to be yearned for blindly, without discrimination. The series of ruminations are a geography of particular obsessions. It is this honesty this free fall of rawness, plummeting towards certain doom that characterizes the authors reflections. But the work is still a purposeful illumination of a woman in crisis on multiple fronts, a woman seeking, if not resolution, then at the very least, some sense of equilibrium. But it is more freeing than binding, more a reprieve for her solitude than strangulating prescriptions for behavior. I imagine her friends. In truth, there is only one way to read.
Asianness becomes a convenience, a sort of detachable part of the self, a part only assumed when her sense of inadequacy becomes intolerable. Hoangs sentences gleam and draw blood like barbwire. Lily Hoangs new book, A Bestiary (156 pages; Cleveland State University Poetry Center proves why a healthy amount of skepticismat times bordering on distastefor the self is an undervalued trait in literature. CSU; 2016, in fictional accounts of the second-generation experience, we often encounter uncompromising parents, the perils of perfectionism, and children plagued by a shortage of self-worth.
Her aging parents also offer a point of concern, with her mother using iPad games to escape from reality and her father needling her about her weight. She has already been saved, a season ago. On the surface, this is a haphazard approach to narrative construction without much linear logic. As empathizers, we cannot help but pray as if prayer has not been proven obsolete, a husk of a living thing the author will allow herself the time and space to heal. With time, the truth unspools, clear as a sharp break: Hoang is drawn to pain, just as pain is drawn to Hoang.