‘Bestiary’ by K-Ming Chang: Dark of the Mind

by Corinne Leong

From Plath to Vuong, the poet-novelist has long been a centerpiece of literary conversation, subverting convention to craft impossibly engaging narratives. K-Ming Chang, a poet by precedent, comes prepared to contribute to that legacy. Her first novel, Bestiary (272 Pages; One World/Random House), is suffused with lyricism, a multigenerational, mythological, and magical-realist retelling of one family’s fraught history.  Bestiary’s three narrators are referred to only as Daughter, Mother, and Grandmother. Their narratives are interwoven, and converse and collapse upon each other. Though Chang’s novel is largely lyric and non-linear, its through-line is deceptively simple: Daughter learns the myth of Hu Gu Po—a […]

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