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The Boss (McSweeney's Poetry)by Victoria Chang
Synopses & Reviews
Written in a breathless kind of fury,” the poems in award-winning poet Victoria Changs virtuosic third collection The Boss dance across the page with the brutal power and incandescent beauty of spring lightning. Obsessive, brilliant, linguistically playful—the mesmerizing world of The Boss is as personal as it is distinctly post-9/11. The result is a breathtaking, one-of-a-kind exploration of contemporary American culture, power structures, family life, and ethnic and personal identity.
"This third book from Chang (Salvinia Molesta) conjures in verse a familiar and yet appropriately surreal world of invoices and cubicles. Associative wordplay works like hinges to move the poems this way, that way, always hurtling the book — in one unbroken string of uniformly unpunctuated poems — forward. Echoing Gertrude Stein's playful sonics, these poems use the concept of a boss to access recurring undercurrents of sheer emotion and meditation: 'he asks my four-year-old to help when I/ ask him the name of his old boss/ he says his own name' describes a father's aphasia; 'my four-year-old daughter still/ listens to me I am the boss and I like it I/ see why the boss likes it' exposes familial power dynamics; and 'the moon speaks up because it knows it will still/ have a job on some nights the moon// shines its white mane on everything/ I've ever done wrong' comes from a series of ekphrastic poems on Edward Hopper's iconic images of work and cityscape woven through the book. Though slightly weaker where the voice tips toward editorializing too blatantly on the perils of office life, Chang's linguistic mastery is consistently clever and moving." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Victoria Changs two previous collections of poetry are Salvinia Molesta, published by the University of Georgia Press as part of the VQR Poetry Series in 2008, and Circle, published by the Southern Illinois University Press as the winner of the Crab Orchard Open Competition. Her poems appear in the Believer, POETRY, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Tin House, New England Review, Colorado Review, Smartish Pace, Blackbird, and elsewhere.
Chang holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Harvard, and Stanford, as well as an MFA from Warren Wilson. She works as a business writer and communications specialist and lives in Southern California with her family.
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