Box Kite

Baziju. House of Anansi (PGW/Perseus, U.S. dist.; UTP, Canadian dist.), $19.95 trade paper (168p) ISBN 978-1-77089-962-9
The literary duo who write as Baziju—Roo Borson, who won the Griffin Poetry Prize for Short Journey Up River Towards Oishida, and particle physicist and poet Kim Maltman—have created a delightful collection of 21 short prose poems. Their stories are both engaging narratives and opportunities to ruminate on the big questions in life. Set variously in Canada, where the authors work and live, and China, where they have clearly traveled extensively after studying Chinese language and literature, these short vignettes could be read as letters sent to a distant loved one, verbal snapshots of important moments, or templates for stories shared late at night with good friends. Most of the poems include black-and-white photos of the scene being described, providing the reader with the opportunity to reconcile the visual images with the delicate portraits painted by the authors' words. These stories pass beyond simple descriptions of home and travel, and delve into the nature and function of language, memory, art, food, identity, and discovery. "If it is true that what we know of a place veils our eyes before we see it," this collection of stories offers an ever-shifting, slightly translucent veil that is both dense and permeable, tempting readers to peer again and again through the layers. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/23/2016
Release date: 04/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
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