cover image Looking for Home: Women Writing about Exile

Looking for Home: Women Writing about Exile

. Milkweed Editions, $11.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-915943-45-6

This anthology of poetry by women, many born in other countries and now living in America, is cross-cultural yet unified by the theme of displacement. Using the traditional metaphor of exile, culture shock of an alien land, to express the disenfranchisement of all women, the book g speaks about lost identities that must be found again, languages that fall into the pidgin pool, suspended hopes for freedom. The poems, which often interpose words from other languages, represent the struggle for cultural recognition within a worldwide patriarchal order, of which America, for the writers included here, is the foremost symbol. Home is often identified with an absent mother and her role--as in ``I Learned to Sew,'' a stunning narrative of immigration and social hierarchy--while America represents paternal authority, unconcerned with the needs and aspirations of its new daughters, some of them mail-order brides. This collection challenges the accepted social framework and forms an important though sometimes predictable contribution to contemporary writing by women. Keenan ( Household Wounds ) and Lloyd ( Tap Dancing for Big Mom ) are both poets. (Sept.)