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Burden of Ashes
by Justin Chin
A literary dreamscape in which the landscapes of childhood, homelands, bodies, lovers, and desires succumb to whimsy, revision, and denial. With wild grace, Chin bounds through actual events and imagined outcomes-in a place where killing snakes, stern discipline, family pets, and childhood vacations share equal time with unrequited love, the mournful specters of ex-lovers, ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Alyson Books
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Just finished Justin Chin's Burden of Ashes (Los Angeles: Alyson Books, 2001). Chin a Chinese Malay born in Malaysia, raised in Singapore and emigrated to the San Francisco is a glo-punk spoken slam poet. His Burden of Ashes is a collection of essays formed around memoirs and rememberances of things past. A really well written and witty collection which moves quickly, and quirkely over a wealth of topics from desire, sexuality; identity, disease, death and love. Chin's sense of humour is rather ...more
I liked this more than R. zimora Linmark, who apparently belongs in the same literary coterie. It gets very explicit and graphic, so I got embarrassed about reading it on the genteel Boston T, and try to suppress much of it. The perspective is unique and necessary though, but more biting than my taste. I'm also not sure how much is autobiography, because most of it certainly reads like it, which is scary.
Born in Malaysia, raised & educated in Singapore, shipped to the U.S. by way of Hawaii, and lived in San Francisco. Author of 3 books of poetry, all published by Manic D Press: Bite Hard (1997); Harmless Medicine (2001), a finalist in the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association Awards; and, Gutted (2006), which received the 2007 Thom Gunn Award for Poetry by the Publishing Triangle. Squeezed in ...moreMore about Justin Chin...