The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father
From the author of The Latehomecomer, a powerful memoir of her father, a Hmong song poet who sacrificed his gift for his children's future in America
In the Hmong tradition, the song poet recounts the story of his people, their history and tragedies, joys and losses; extemporizing or drawing on folk tales, he keeps the past alive, invokes the spirits and the homeland, and records courtships,...more
This book isn't perfect and the beginning really did give me trouble and I was sometimes a bit confused, but I ended up totally, totally loving it. So I am giving it five stars.
I loved it because it emotionally moved me. That is why it is getting five stars. I will tell you other things that I liked, but it is the empathy that I felt for the members of the author's family that is the reason for the five stars.
I learned about the H ...more
This is a story of tragedy and loss. "I loved you during our sixth miscarriage..."(during an eleven year stay in a Thailand refugee camp).
The author has written this book out of love for her father. This book started sl ...more
This story also showed the heavy isolation of losing one's words ability to communicate causes.
This is a heartfelt story and a wonderful memoir. The writing is poetic and lovely. I listened to the audio, which was perhaps a bit monotone, and ...more
Beautifully written, sad stories, and eye-opening into how refugees are continued to be treated in America.
Official review here. ...more
The Yang family immigrated to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1987 as refugees coming from a Thai refugee camp. The memoir is filled with stories of Bee growing up as a boy in the Xieng Khouang Province, Laos, the refugee camp in Thailand, and working as a blue collar factory employee in St. Pa ...more
While Yang's book is the story of her father's / family's experience, I imagine pieces are representative of that ...more
The words "authentic" and "lyrical" are sadly overused by those of us lucky enough to be avid readers. How then to describe The Song Poet? "Melodic," "textured" and "enthralling" all would be accurate, but they would be merely a start.
Kao Kalia Yang loves her father, and this book is her love song. She doesn't tell us why he is worthy of her love (and our respect). Instead, she shows us many of the facets of a complex man -- his dreams, his ...more
The book's jacket tells us, "In the Hmong tradition, the song poet recounts the story of his people, their history and tragedies, joys and losses ...more
I especially liked the Love Song to Bee's wife Chue.
I liked the immigrant family father's clarity of the value of education to obtain a good job for his daughters, a doctor or a lawyer. When the parents are talking one night about a Hmong woman who is dating a white man and they fought and the man beat the woman badly, the father said the woman shouldn't have been with the man in the first place. "It was dangerous to cross cult ...more
In many books, the early years are either very hard or ...more
I was provided with a printed copy in return for an honest review.