Obit

Obit

by Victoria Chang

Published by: Copper Canyon Press

120 Pages, 9.00 x 8.00 in

  • Paperback
  • 9781556595745
  • Published: April 2020

$17.00

Longlisted for the 2020 National Book Award in Poetry

After her mother died, poet Victoria Chang refused to write elegies. Rather, she distilled her grief during a feverish two weeks by writing scores of poetic obituaries for all she lost in the world. In Obit, Chang writes of “the way memory gets up after someone has died and starts walking.” These poems reinvent the form of newspaper obituary to both name what has died (“civility,” “language,” “the future,” “Mother’s blue dress”) and the cultural impact of death on the living. Whereas elegy attempts to immortalize the dead, an obituary expresses loss, and the love for the dead becomes a conduit for self-expression. In this unflinching and lyrical book, Chang meets her grief and creates a powerful testament for the living.