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Hao by Ye Chun
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Hao by Ye Chun
Paperback $16.95
Sep 13, 2022 | ISBN 9781646221554

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  • Sep 13, 2022 | ISBN 9781646221554

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  • Sep 07, 2021 | ISBN 9781646220601

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  • Sep 07, 2021 | ISBN 9781646220618

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Product Details


Longlisted for the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction
Literary Hub, A Best Book of the Year
An Electric Literature Best Book of the Year

“Stunning . . .  A powerful collection that explores what happens when lives break down, when it becomes hard to find a word—any word—to express profound loss and anguish . . . There’s not a story in Hao that’s anything less than gorgeous.” —Michael Schaub, NPR

“Gentle . . . Slow, somber and often elegant, Hao thematically foregrounds language . . . Ye shows how words operate as weapons, comforts, memories and insufficient—if sometimes beautiful—representations of intent.” —Tracy O’Neill, The New York Times Book Review

“Ye’s writing thrives when dissecting the contradictions in life and in language.” —Javier C. Hernández, The New York Times

“Words are Ye Chun’s superpower. A translator and poet, she uses them sparsely, delicately, aware that each one carries unseen weight . . . These stories are immaculate, beautiful, tattered—like their characters.” —Hillary Kelly, Vulture

“Poetic . . . [Ye’s] characters’ relentless perseverance in the face of immigration, racism and sexism comes from an inner strength as strong as the bond between mother and child.” —Katherine Ouellette, WBUR

“Vulnerability and attunement to her characters underlie Ye’s writing . . . The poetry of Ye’s prose is what gives Hao its power . . . In just several short pieces, Ye touches upon broad subjects like Chinese identity in America and femininity, but also their more personal intersections. The world might be large, but in this collection it feels vivid and free.” —Valerie Wu, Asia Pacific Arts

“An author in full control of her powers, plumbing the depths of her characters, finding the nuance and mystery of each moment through language both precise and transporting.” —Brian Castleberry, The Los Angeles Review of Books

“Ye writes precise and lyric prose (‘her heart feels like a scroll of moon-white space that opens, and is edgeless’) and in each story shows how language can be a refuge for those whose circumstances threaten to erase them.” —Dana Isokawa, Poets & Writers

“Ye powerfully renders the displacement felt by recent immigrants fitfully learning the language, to further highlight the cultural divide they face, and to demonstrate that they seem to have no way but forward . . . Universal and poignant.” —Kristen Yee, Asian Review of Books

“Lapidary, understated, unflinching and intimate . . . Haunted and haunting . . . Ye’s sentences are both lyrical and muscular: spare and acutely alive.” —Lisa Russ Spaar, On The Seawall

“Gorgeous . . . Reading Ye Chun’s collection is like watching the most incredible acrobatic routine. Who knew people could do that with their bodies? Who knew someone could do that with words? . . . The women in these pages are faced with the most impossible circumstances, and they manage to make a sanctuary of words. More than anything, Hao is a love letter to language.” —Katie Yee, Literary Hub

“Bilingual Chinese American writer, poet, and translator Ye showcases her linguistic prowess in a prodigious debut collection featuring women on both sides of the globe . . . Each of Ye’s dozen stories astounds.” —Booklist (starred review)

“All of these sensitive tales amplify voices that have often been silenced . . . These battles are fought with pens, stick figures, tender drawings on a child’s back; silent screams are in the background.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Tender and skillful . . . Reveals via bold and spare prose how characters grasp onto language as a means of belonging.” —Publishers Weekly

“Ye Chun captures the complexities of human emotion with a fine chisel and poet’s eye, moving deftly between themes of motherhood, loss and migration. Hao is a richly imagined, satisfying collection, one that invites you to stay, to linger and be moved.” —Te-Ping Chen, author of Land of Big Numbers

“That language must be used precisely to have power feels both obvious and too often overlooked, but in Ye Chun’s Hao, we’re shown not only the continually precise and gorgeous renderings of words and phrases, but the power this can have to conjure specific ways of being, to argue against so many silent violences, and to feel like its own type of taking care. Each of these stories is an individual world brought to life fully by the particularity of its language, by Ye’s extraordinarily far-reaching and deeply felt imagination, combined with her consistently stunning acuity and control.” —Lynn Steger Strong, author of Want

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