Fish in Exile: Book summary and reviews of Fish in Exile by Vi Khi Nao

Fish in Exile

by Vi Khi Nao

Fish in Exile by Vi Khi Nao X
Fish in Exile by Vi Khi Nao
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2016
    192 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

How do you bear the death of a child? With fishtanks and jellyfish burials, Persephone's pomegranate seeds, and affairs with the neighbors.

How 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 more clearly.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [A] novel that forges a new vocabulary for the routine of grief, as well as the process of healing." - Publisher's Weekly

"An off-kilter but effective tone poem on loss and recovery." - Kirkus

"A staggering tale of the death of a child, this novel is a poetic meditation on loss, the fluidity of boundaries, and feeling like a fish out of water." - The Millions, "Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2016 Book Preview

"Smartly innovative, lushly poetic, compellingly told, and truly moving, Fish in Exile is a remarkable, sui generis novel. Vi Khi Nao is a strikingly talented writer whose artistic vision takes many literary forms. I ardently hope she does more long form fiction; she does it splendidly." - Robert Olen Butler

"In this jagged and unforgettable work, Vi Khi Nao takes on a domestic story of losing one's children and elevates it to Greek tragedy. Refusing sentimentality and realism, she shows how personal devastation can feel, to the sufferer, as powerful and enduring as myth." - Viet Thanh Nguyen

"Fish in Exile is what leaks from the forms literary grief has taken, and what floats away, an amalgam of jellyfish and clouds. I love this book for its texture, its granular absurdities, its aqueous erotics, its garlic paper longing. I've never felt anything like it." - Joanna Ruocco

"Vi Khi Nao's Fish in Exile resonates with the unconscious fecundity of myth. A modern allegory of children who give birth to their mother, minnows that push a whale's shopping cart around Walmart, and hospitals that exude an odor of insane asylums and Windex: Demeter, Callisto, Catholic, and Ethos live again in Nao's world, and make new the most fundamental contradictions of life - separation, desire, bondage, freedom, loyalty, birth." - Steve Tomasula

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Author Information

Vi Khi Nao

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. Fish In Exile is her first novel. She holds an MFA in fiction from Brown University.

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