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New Book :: A Plucked Zither

A Plucked Zither by Phuong T. Vuong book cover image

A Plucked Zither by Phuong T. Vuong
Red Hen Press, June 2023

A Plucked Zither by Phuong Vuong explores what happens to language and thus emotions and relationships under conditions of migration, specifically refugee migration from Vietnam and its aftermath. Crisscrossing between making a home in the US and a home in Vietnam, the speaker tries nonlinear, multilingual voice(s) that demonstrate the disparate nature of memory and the operation of other ways of knowing. Efforts to speak reflect the severing created by historical forces of war and imperialism, while speaking makes connection possible and remains tied to that very history. Vuong leans on the anti-war Vietnamese singer and songwriter, Trịnh Công Sơn, for a poetic lineage on grief, longing, and justice. Rather than being sunken with loss, the speaker(s) move with it, leaping across gaps.

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