Flesh, Tongue

By Yaya Yao

Flesh, Tongue
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In this brilliant and provocative first collection, Yaya Yao confronts her inherited fragmented self and her hunger for a home, using scraps of personal and communal memory to bridge languages, worldviews, and physical distance from her ancestoral homeland. Bits of Cantonese, ... Read more


Overview

In this brilliant and provocative first collection, Yaya Yao confronts her inherited fragmented self and her hunger for a home, using scraps of personal and communal memory to bridge languages, worldviews, and physical distance from her ancestoral homeland. Bits of Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, and Shanghainese are translated and altered to explore the dynamics between language and identity. In this collection, Yaya Yao has created a unique and authentic voice.

Yaya Yao

Yaya Yao was born and raised in Toronto's Parkdale and Little Portugal neighbourhoods with a lot of languages around her: Cantonese, Mandarin Hokkien, Shanghainese and French and English. Yaya?s poems have been published in several journals, including TOK7, Contemporary Verse 2, and the Toronto Review of Books. Her short play, Tongued, received staged readings through playwrights' units with Nightwood and fu-GEN Theatre companies, and she is co-author, with Helen Anderson, of the Educator's Equity Companion Guide.

Reviews

"Yao?s work plays freely with line breaks and treats the printed page like a canvas, engaging with both the translinguistic and the spatial aspects of reading."--Wasafiri "Yao?s poems, 44 in total, tell of the need for a continuous narrative and context for one?s place in the world."--New Canadian Media"Simple yet piercing, filled with sparse, pungent details these poems remind us of the loss that makes life so painful and yet so sweet. Yaya Yao both confronts us and comforts us with the double-edgedness of immigration and its legacy, offering us a way back to where we never left."--Thea Lim, author of The Same Woman

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