Publishers Weekly is calling Que Mai's The Secret of Hoa Sen "straightforward, personal poems" that “lament and celebrate with the landscape—the smells, colors, and people of her country—that is their touchstone." The collection focuses on “the lingering physical and psychological effects of the Vietnam war,” but also turns its attention to the larger world, singing for "the alienated orphans of the Vietnam War; for garment workers in Bangladesh; for the victims of Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines; and for mothers across the globe in perilous circumstances." Even with such a scope of subjects, Que Mai writes with a "detail-oriented eye" that is “nostalgic” in its familiarity. A bilingual edition, The Secret of Hoa Sen was translated from the Vietnamese by both Que Mai and celebrated war poet and Pulitzer Prize nominee Bruce Weigl. Que Mai and Weigl—both previously published poets and translators of high regard—find inspiration in writing on Vietnam war and its aftermath. Click here to read the full Publishers Weekly review. The Secret of Hoa Sen is currently available at the BOA Bookstore.
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