- 75,00 kr
Winner of the 2017 T. S. Eliot Prize
‘Reading Vuong is like watching a fish move: he manages the varied currents of English with muscled intuition.’ New Yorker
An extraordinary debut from a young Vietnamese American, Night Sky with Exit Wounds is a book of poetry unlike any other.
Steeped in war and cultural upheaval and wielding a fresh new language, Vuong writes about the most profound subjects – love and loss, conflict, grief, memory and desire – and attends to them all with lines that feel newly-minted, graceful in their cadences, passionate and hungry in their tender, close attention: ‘…the chief of police/facedown in a pool of Coca-Cola./A palm-sized photo of his father soaking/beside his left ear.’ This is an unusual, important book: both gentle and visceral, vulnerable and assured, and its blend of humanity and power make it one of the best first collections of poetry to come out of America in years.
‘These are poems of exquisite beauty, unashamed of romance, and undaunted by looking directly into the horrors of war, the silences of history. One of the most important debut collections for a generation.’ Andrew McMillan
Winner of the 2017 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection
A Guardian / Daily Telegraph Book of the Year
PBS Summer Recommendation
In his impressive debut collection, Vuong, a 2014 Ruth Lilly fellow, writes beauty into and culls from individual, familial, and historical traumas. Vuong exists as both observer and observed throughout the book as he explores deeply personal themes such as poverty, depression, queer sexuality, domestic abuse, and the various forms of violence inflicted on his family during the Vietnam War. Poems float and strike in equal measure as the poet strives to transform pain into clarity. Managing this balance becomes the crux of the collection, as when he writes, "Your father is only your father/ until one of you forgets. Like how the spine/ won't remember its wings/ no matter how many times our knees/ kiss the pavement." There are times when Vuong's intense sincerity edges too far toward sentimentality: "Honeysuckle. Goldenrod. Say autumn./ Say autumn despite the green/ in your eyes." Yet these moments feel difficult to avoid in a book whose speakers risk so much raw emotion: "7:18am. Kevin overdosed last night. His sister left a message. Couldn't listen/ to all of it. That makes three this year." By juxtaposing startling observations with more common images, Vuong forges poems that feel familiar, yet honest and original.