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We Bury the Landscape

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  39 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
We Bury the Landscape is an exhibition of literary art. Ekphrasis, collected. One hundred flash fictions and prose poems presented to view. From the visual to the textual, transmuting before the gallery-goer’s gaze, the shifting contours of curator Kristine Ong Muslim’s surreal panorama delineate the unconventional, the unexpected, and the unnatural. Traversing this vision ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published April 15th 2012 by Queen's Ferry Press (first published March 30th 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 136)
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Meg Tuite
Dec 17, 2015 Meg Tuite rated it it was amazing
"We Bury the Landscape" is a sublime book of ekphrastic flash. Each of these micro-gems is inspired by a painting. The writing is brilliant and I highly recommend that everyone order a copy of this book!!! Exceptional and unforgettable!
Jason Lundberg
Jul 24, 2013 Jason Lundberg rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 0wnz0red, poetry
I gobbled up this amazing collection in three bites, and I already want to go back and gorge myself on it again. Muslim's command of the extremely short form here is a remarkable achievement, each brief creation the most potent and distilled slice of story that lesser writers would take an entire novel to fill. Simply incredible, a must-read.
Berit Ellingsen
Sep 02, 2012 Berit Ellingsen rated it it was amazing
We Bury the Landscape is a collection of flash fictions and prose poems inspired by surrealist paintings from all over the world. Most of the stories are under 500 words long.

Kristine Ong Muslim writes both prose and poetry and the collection is a beautiful blend of both. Here is a magical, mysterious, perilous world of mermaids, women-turned-chandeliers, and policemen that chase gryphons. The spirits of Kafka, Borges and Calvino linger on the pages, in addition to the surrealist painters, such
Feb 28, 2012 Meganm922 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Most of the time, I don't necessarily "get" art. I enjoy it and find reasons why it's pleasing to me. I find a piece of art and look at what the artist has to say about what they were trying to do and it's always something way different from what I see. For example, one of my friends is an artist and I have one of her paintings in my home. I see a wine bottle with darkness around it, possibly representing the deepness of a red wine, or maybe even a higher level of the dark things drinking can do ...more
Aug 31, 2012 Olga rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
This collection of flash fiction was inspired by paintings and photographs and each story is an extension, an interpretation or a look inside the separate works of art. Ms. Muslim's writing is very visual, so much so that reading her stories is like looking at images on canvas, all you need is a tiny bit of imagination to see it in color.
The stories may not describe the art that inspired them but they are tied to it, especially in execution - abstract works yield equally abstract fiction, and m
Catherine Coffman
Apr 09, 2012 Catherine Coffman rated it liked it
I’m not a huge fan of short stories as a general rule, because I typically find them just too short to really get involved in. However, We Bury the Landscape is a super interesting concept, because it’s a compilation of extremely short snippets based on various pieces of art work.

I didn’t have the chance to read the whole book in time for this review, however the stories I read were very interesting and got me looking at art in a different perspective. I can see myself going back to this book ov
The Joy of Booking
Mar 01, 2012 The Joy of Booking rated it really liked it
This is such an unusual book! Is it fiction? Sometimes. Is it non-fiction? Maybe a little. Is it poetry? Definitely. Is it also prose? For sure.

Essentially, Kristine Ong Muslim has given voice to the thoughts that traipse through your mind when looking at art. While sometimes her words are literal interpretations of the visual, more often they tell a story of what is lurking just outside the frame. From heartbreaking backstory to inspiring monologue, these vignettes delight and give each piece n
Marybeth (Manhattan Reader)
Apr 03, 2012 Marybeth (Manhattan Reader) rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, for-review
When I first accepted this review request I had no idea what to expect. This was by far a different type of book that I have not read before and I was interested in how the author would go about presenting her book.

I will be the first to admit that when it comes to art I know next to nothing. And trying to interpret it? Forget it. But, what I do love is the artwork itself. I wish I had the ability to do master pieces that get highly valued in museums (then again I wish I could draw a straight li
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
These one-hundred stories were inspired by real pieces of art -- but you don't need to be familiar with any of the images to enjoy these stories. Muslim's jumping point -- a painting -- ends with wonderful crafted story, poignant and sharp, sad and humorous. I read all the stories first, image unseen, then went to Muslim's website where she links to every image. Then, after checking out the images, I reread the stories.

I'll be honest: in many cases, I rather enjoyed the story more before seeing
Eliza Victoria
Jul 22, 2013 Eliza Victoria rated it really liked it
What can you do with a couple hundred words? Create worlds, present dreams, crush a heart - a lot, in short, and you need only look at Kristine Ong Muslim's remarkable collection of ekphrastic micro pieces. Each short fiction/prose poem/dream element is based on a work of art, and this makes for a great reading experience. Read the words first and view the art in a different light; see the art first and realize how rich the words become. Some pieces are complete narratives, others have no plot b ...more
Joanne Nock
Jul 28, 2014 Joanne Nock rated it really liked it
I was possibly not the best choice to review this book. Two things that are never going to be passions of mine are short story collections and art. This was a collection of short stories about famous paintings.
Generally I find short story collections frustrating as my interest is provoked and then in a chapter or so it's all over. In this collection sometimes just a paragraph. To me, if a concept is good enough for a story, then it deserves to be nurtured and developed into a longer story that
Peter Tieryas
Feb 06, 2013 Peter Tieryas rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this one and reviewed it at HTMLGiant, for which I also did a YouTube Video. Here's the link:
Aug 19, 2012 Christina rated it liked it
Currently writing my review.

* Imaginitive
* Unusual
* Fast-read

Author: Kristine Ong Muslim

Find my review at
Jun 14, 2013 Hollie rated it really liked it
This review was first posted on Music, Books and Tea

I was offered the chance to review We Bury the Landscape by the author, and whilst it's not the normal type of book I would normally read, I was definitely intrigued by its concept. I think that it's always interesting to see where author's gain their inspiration from, so receiving a book of 100 short stories and poems that are all based on different paintings definitely appealed to me.

I'm not a great lover of art (in this sense), yet I can app
Mar 15, 2012 Kristina rated it really liked it
Usually, I would never choose to review a book like this. For one, I'm not big on short stories, or a collection of stories, which is essentially what this book is. Secondly, I have never really been interested in art. I've gone to museums and I think the paintings look pretty, but I have never understood them the same way others do. So I surprised myself when I agreed to review this book, it looked interesting and original. I am happy that I went out of my comfort zone with this one because I r ...more
Aug 12, 2012 manda-rae rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, ekphrasis
Doesn't the description catch your interest? This book is definitely one of a kind, and I believe everyone should have the chance to read it and see the paintings that the stories are based off of. With that being said, this book is not a novel. It is not something you sit down and enjoy in one sitting (although you very well can do this). This is a coffee table novel that your guests look at (and in my case, wonder how on earth I became so artistically-inclined), kind of like a poetry book or a ...more
Apr 14, 2012 Sapphyria rated it really liked it
I must admit that I am not educated on anything involving art, the artists, or interpretations but thought the concept of "We Bury The Landscape" to be fresh and new. It was something that brings together poetry and paintings and helped educate me.

The author, Kristine Ong Muslim, does an amazing job interpreting the paintings as she sees them. Each painting comes alive with what she sees in her mind's eye and she has put them into writing. The book reads like poetry and she allows us the chance
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Apr 17, 2012 Meg - A Bookish Affair rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, art, 2012
This is sort of an interesting, conceptual book. The author looked at many different paintings some well known and some not so well known, and wrote short stories (some very short) about it. All of the writing is flash fiction, which is especially interesting. It's definitely an interesting concept. Some of the stories tell you exactly what you can see in the painting and not much more. Other stories go a little bit further and really use the painting as a basis for a real story.

I read this boo
Mar 01, 2013 mari rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
We Bury the Landscape is a collection of ekphrastic poems and short stories, meaning they are written in response to another piece of art. In this case, they reference pieces of art by Joan Miro and Salvador Dali and many others.

Kristine Ong Muslim is somehow able to give a voice to the people and objects in the paintings she references. They feel real, come alive and touch you. This is the type of poetry I enjoy. It gives voice to something that doesn't have one. It is more free-flow prose than
Dec 29, 2015 Nina rated it liked it
I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

I really like the foundation and the concept behind these collection of poems. When reading them, you can definitely tell that they are heavily inspired by pieces of art and in some way the words used are art themselves.

There’s a real dark undertone that weaves its way throughout all of the poems. Kristine Ong Muslim really demands you to re-examine how you view things and that’s one of the things I like and respect about poetry.

Jessica Bronder
Feb 25, 2014 Jessica Bronder rated it really liked it
I have to say that I like the concept of this book. Basically, Kristine wrote little stories, poems, or notes to correspond to different paintings. It makes you imaging what is going on in the painting, them when you look them up you can decide for yourself if that is what you see or if you see something else.

The only thing I didn’t really like was that I had to look up the pictures to figure out what they were about. I know, I’m being lazy and whiny. But I think it would have made the book flo
Neon Magazine
Jan 08, 2014 Neon Magazine rated it really liked it
Kristine Ong Muslim’s We Bury the Landscape, structured in the form of fragments of prose and poetry–each inspired by an artist’s painting–is refreshing in its unique style and pace; the author leads her readers on a journey through a gallery, pausing to take in the intricacies of each piece along the way.

Full review at
Apr 26, 2012 Annamarie rated it liked it
I received the book for free through the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway

When I first looked at this book I thought 'oh I probably won't read this' I'm not a fan of poetry but when I actually got round to reading it I found it wasn't poems it was actually very short stories about paintings. I like how the author looked at many different paintings to come up with these short stories.
Andrea Kinnear
Aug 06, 2012 Andrea Kinnear rated it really liked it
If you've never read experimental/micro-fiction, don't make my first-pass mistake. Do not read this as a novel. Imagine yourself drifting through an art gallery, savor every piece as if it is hanging on the wall, waiting for inspiration. I truly stepped well outside by genre-comfort zone and am better for it. Here is a work to read, shelve, return to later.
Arlene Ang
Mar 07, 2012 Arlene Ang rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
We Bury the Landscape is a collection of ekphrastic vignettes set against surreal backdrops fraught with eerie characters faking normalcy. Kristine Ong Muslim’s visceral prose poems slash “the air with the precision of a matador’s sword striking bone”—no reader can plunge into her multiverse without kissing their comfort zone goodbye.
Mar 07, 2012 Angelo rated it it was amazing
Every serious art and poetry lover should grab a copy of this collection of ekphrastic prose poems and microfiction by the talented Kristine Ong Muslim, WE BURY THE LANDSCAPE, a haunting, inertia-breaking madness of grace, resonance, and ZEN-like resignation, defying the laws of statics and dynamics of even the most rigid body.
Alice Koo
May 08, 2013 Alice Koo rated it it was amazing
My friend Peter Tieryas Liu recommended this book to me. I really loved the stories in the collection! They're kind of a mix between poetry and really good lit. All the stories are based on paintings and part of the fun is tracking down the original images.
Theodore Carter
Aug 21, 2012 Theodore Carter rated it it was amazing
Beautiful writing. I read some of it with the help of Google images so that I could see the referenced artwork. I read some all by myself. The book works either way because of the way the author turns visuals into narratives. A mind-bending romp.
Dec 11, 2012 Susan rated it it was amazing
One of the best collections of prose poems I've ever read. Bravo! Richly dark and haunting.
Jennifer marked it as to-read
Jun 21, 2016
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Kristine Ong Muslim is the author of several books of fiction and poetry: Age of Blight (Unnamed Press, 2016), Butterfly Dream (Snuggly Books, 2016), A Roomful of Machines (ELJ Publications, 2015), Grim Series (Popcorn Press, 2012), We Bury the Landscape (Queen’s Ferry Press, 2012), as well as Black Arcadia and Lifeboat, two poetry collections from university presses in the Philippines. Widely pub ...more
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