The Family China

Ann Shin

Genre: non-fiction

Poems about the sense of belonging, about the tenuous ties we make across borders both international and internal. In The Family China, her second book of poems, Ann Shin examines the decentering experiences of migration, loss and death, and the impulse to build anew. In five suites threaded through with footnote-like fragments that haunt and ambush the text like memories, the book accrues associations, building and transforming images from poem to poem, creating a layered and cohesive collection that asks daring questions about how we define ourselves. These poems grapple rawly and musically with the profound messiness of human relations; strung up between an untenable nostalgia for the pastoral and a deep unease with the global, the voice of these poems is nevertheless determined to find some scrap of a song we can sing in common.