Fish in Exile

Fish in Exile Praise for Vi Khi Nao Here I was allowed to forget for a while that that is what books aspire to tell so taken was I by enthralling and mysterious pleasures Carole MasoHow do you bear the death of a

  • Title: Fish in Exile
  • Author: Vi Khi Nao
  • ISBN: 9781566894494
  • Page: 475
  • Format: Paperback
  • Praise for Vi Khi Nao Here I was allowed to forget for a while that that is what books aspire to tell, so taken was I by enthralling and mysterious pleasures Carole MasoHow do you bear the death of a child With fishtanks and jellyfish burials, Persephone s pomegranate seeds, and affairs with the neighbors Fish in Exile spins unimaginable loss through classical aPraise for Vi Khi Nao Here I was allowed to forget for a while that that is what books aspire to tell, so taken was I by enthralling and mysterious pleasures Carole MasoHow do you bear the death of a child With fishtanks and jellyfish burials, Persephone s pomegranate seeds, and affairs with the neighbors Fish in Exile spins unimaginable loss through classical and magical tumblers, distorting our view so that we can see the contours of a parent s grief all the clearly.Vi Khi Nao was born in Long Khanh, Vietnam Vi s work includes poetry, fiction, film and cross genre collaboration Her poetry collection, The Old Philosopher, was the winner of 2014 Nightboat Poetry Prize Her novel, Fish In Exile, will make its first appearance in Fall 2016 from Coffee House Press She holds an MFA in fiction from Brown University.

    One thought on “Fish in Exile”

    1. emo like duras is emo. grieving, brave, and deracinating, i found FISH IN EXILE unafraid to wear emotion on its sleeve. and yet sui generis; made with a charged, defamiliarized language making the old (classic) story somehow all her own (the persephone retell a favorite bit), the book has a little of karapanou or lispector in its ability to poetically sear to the heart of the matter -- but clears its own ground. loved it.

    2. This book is stunning in all senses of the word, especially in the sense that I am rendered rather speechless. Exquisite, brutal, haunting.

    3. A mother and father in mourning for their children respond to the tragedy in very different ways. This is a book where I'm grateful the English language has this construction available to me: "I am glad to have read it." Meaning, it was work, but worth it, and I'm glad it's over.The challenge to write about grief is a worthy challenge, and the author here had something to say, and said it uniquely. While it did not propel me closer to understanding what such a grief would feel like, it did make [...]

    4. Weird in a bad way and quite overrated. I hated the writing style, the sometimes disturbing imagery, and the Freudian complexes bull throughout. Not my cup of tea. Couldn't keep reading and had to give up on it.

    5. A Conversation With Vi Khi Nao About ExileOn November 3, 2016, I sent this message to my friend Vi, whose book Fish in Exile is helping me breathe:Sent Nov 3, 2016 11:04:08 AM Vi Khi NaoVi, I just love yr book. Do you know that my blog, going way back to the live journal days (and now tumblr) is called internal exile?This opened a conversation in which Vi generously asked me about my writing and thinking. I believe her ability to draw out language for what people have in mind, and her curiosity [...]

    6. This is an astonishing and disorienting book. Every sentence does so much work. The way Vi Khi Nao deals with grief and loss really is something amazing. This is an essential book.

    7. I like the way it hangs on you. The green parts are beginning to show, and like a forgotten item on my grocery list, I knock on your door. Little did I know you carried a photo of me around your neck. At sunset we snack on sunflower seeds from a pocket of your denim jacket.

    8. Are you reading a book about a couple experiencing grief-induced insanity? Yes but it's more than that. It's surreal. It's David Lynch. It's Georges Bataille. This book reminds me of David Markson's Wittgenstein's Mistress and while I LOVE Markson, I think she surpasses him in her ability to tell a coherent story and create living, breathing characters. Ethos and Catholic Romulus are the grief-stricken parents who've lost twins. Ethos, the emasculated husband is the principal of William Blake El [...]

    9. 3.7/5A surreal and disturbing meditation on the grief of parents over their dead children. The novel is unified around the the central image of Demeter's capture by Hades. A Fish in Exile's plot is less a crucial element than imagery and the prose, which gets to the emotional core of the character's grief a failing marriage. Perhaps because of the Greek mythological connection, natural and sexual imagery are prominent . There are also a lot of fish. Vi Nao Khao's prose is truly beautiful, but at [...]

    10. You don't read a Vi Khi Nao book. You step into her world and realize you are in the hands of a poet, innovator and outlaw. Readers will marvel at the originality of Fish in Exile, and writers, after the intimidation wears off, will feel liberated and grateful.

    11. I heard about Fish in Exile via Sarah McCarry's post about it on her old blog, and re-reading that post now I would agree with her assessment that this book "is addictive, but for quite some time you have no idea what it’s even about." The day I started it, I tried to explain it to someone, and I think all I managed to express was my befuddlement. That befuddlement remained for a fair chunk of the book, but I didn't much mind, because on a sentence level, Nao's writing is gorgeous. Like: "Ligh [...]

    12. Jesus christ. I remember reading one of the blurbs on the back of the book and seeing this flowery, hyper-literary praise for Vi Khi Nao's very peculiar writing style. Someone called it "clitoral." I remember staring at the back of the book and thinking "what in the blue hell does that even mean" but frankly, here at the end, I'm inclined to agree. There is something concupiscent about this entire book, which is especially jarring when you consider that it's about grief. I was surprised to be en [...]

    13. Gotta be honest. Really didn't think I wanted to finish this book for the first half. But I'm glad I stuck with it! You're sort of lost for awhile and eventually get caught up to speed. The end is beautiful. The pages up to the end. There's like a 3 page bit told by Catholic where Nao really hits her stride ((not that the whole book isn't beautifully narrated - I'm just saying this part in particular was awesome)) writing about pain and how we hold it close to survive in these bizarrely limiting [...]

    14. This is just an incredible novel. It manages to be both deeply moving but also stylistically elegant, with its poetic prose and mythical references. A powerful story about a couple struggling to cope with the deaths of their children, it's a very human story, very real, very affecting. I highly recommend this. It is quite unlike anything else I've read this year. Just so good.

    15. Not the book for me - but if you're looking for a free flowing, metaphor-filled book about grieving, and you like a heavily psychological story, then definitely try it out. The flavor of this book is similar to Kitamura's "A Separation," I think.

    16. Vi is probably one of the best word-smiths out there. She whittles away at the large scale while creeping in little detailed cocoons that burst as you swim through the ocean of her story. An easily devoured book.

    17. Totally in love with this book -- on my favorites shelfough not from Page one. I had to give it breathing room, swim around in it for awhile. A language book that was delicious.

    18. Short, sweet, and sad in the best ways. The story comes together by the end in a weirdly thrown together yet captivating adventure.

    19. Some pretty lovely moments in this book. Imaginative and continues to reinforce metaphors successfully. The language is playful.My main frustration are the occasional lines that come across too heavy handed. Often a fine string of sentences will be capped off with a sentence that is too pointed or over stated in a way that takes away from the beauty of the previous lines. I also feel as if the male perspective is a little cliche at times.There was more good than bad by a large margin, but I thin [...]

    20. This has some jagged edges, little fish hooks that you can't avoid. Nao is articulate, with a style reminiscent of Anne Carson (plus there's a brief Carson reference mid-text). Near the end, there's a three-page section on pain and the public face of pain that is beautiful and gut wrenching.

    21. Definitely a niche work. If you enjoy heavy poetry or Faulkner, this one is for you. The imagery is beautiful and bizarre, the characters are much the same, and the rhythm is addictive. However, it's not for everyone and personally, I could have used a little less sex obsession distracting from the actual developments.

    22. Ohhh this is some next level Murakami shit. I hate pretentious books that use fancy words just for the sake of using fancy words that no one understands and random sentences that make zero sense but it's okay because it's ART. ie. "Two naked infants face each other like gladiators. Their hearts have been removed from their chests and placed on their thighs. Their right ventricles are sliced, but left open to the air. They look like the curling, rubber rims of two balloons. The children grab hold [...]

    23. 2017 has been a year filed with debut novels. This is the book that kicked it off. (though I guess it was still 2016 when I finished it.) This is one of those books I have a hard time writing a review for because it's difficult to convey just how much this book affected me.The book follows Catholic and Ethos parents who lost their young children to the nearby ocean. This premise develops into one of the finest portrayals of depression in literature.This book drips with atmosphere. The gray-scale [...]

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