Synopses & Reviews
A third-generation Japanese American, Kitano writes with an eerie, clarified composure of her family's struggles--immigration, culture shock, internment--and of her own private struggle to understand them and herself. Her confident, beautifully crafted poems are suggestive of a mature poet at the top of her form; but, amazingly, this is her first book.
"Newcomer Christine Kitano writes with purpose and intensity about the disturbing subjects of her youth, her family interned in camps, her unborn twin, her mother's cruelty, her father's death. Throughout it all, the grey, almost invisible child, 'born of everybody's second choice' watches wonders and survives. 'Someone is waiting for me to die,' she writes, 'to crack my bones / open in search of music.' A haunting debut." -Dorianne Laux
"Birds of Paradise is an apt title for the collection, as paradise exists only in the imagination . . . And, birds of paradise are only resemblances . . . The poems thus leave one feeling close and remote at the same time, estranged and yet familiar." -Henry W. Leung, Lantern Review Blog, April 2012