This May, please join us in celebrating Asian Heritage Month: a recognition of the humanity, power, and ongoing struggles of Asian communities throughout the world. Book*hug is honoured to have published ground-breaking, critically-acclaimed fiction, non-fiction, and poetry by Asian authors, and for the next several weeks, we’ll be shining a light on these authors and their brilliant work. We know that our work, as allies, doesn’t end with blog posts, nor does it end at the end of May; the fight for Asian empowerment is perennial. We encourage you to support—and defer to—Asian voices, organizations, and initiatives, such as the ACLA (Asian Canadian Labour Alliance) and Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network).
Our series ends with Kith, by Divya Victor, a poetry collection that examines Indian-American diasporic culture in the twentieth century through the lens of autobiography. Kith explores questions about race and ethnic difference: how do “brownness” and “blackness” emerge as traded commodities in the transactions of globalization? What are the symptoms of belonging? How and why does “kith” diverge from “kin,” and what are the affects and politics of this divergence? Victor’s book is an unflinching account of both systemic and interpersonal violence and wounding.
“For Divya Victor, history is a wound. And the poet’s language is bright like the white bandage on which blood shows more clearly,” writes Amitava Kumar. “What we have on display in this book is an imagination that is as wide as the world. Part-anthem, part-instruction manual, part-memoir, part-dictionary, this text offers testimony to other ways of being and remembering, a reflection on forgotten lives.”
Nightboat Books recently published Victor’s Curb, a poetry collection that documents how immigrants and Americans navigate the liminal sites of everyday living: lawns, curbs, and sidewalks undergirded by violence but also constantly repaved with new possibilities of belonging. All royalties ascribed to Victor from the sale of Curb will be donated equally to The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) and the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA).
Divya Victor is the author of CURB (Nightboat Books); KITH, a book of verse, prose memoir, lyric essay and visual objects (Fence Books/Book*hug); NATURAL SUBJECTS (Trembling Pillow, Winner of the Bob Kaufman Award), UNSUB (Insert Blanc), and THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR MOUTH (Les Figues). Her work has been collected in numerous venues, including BOMB, the New Museum’s The Animated Reader, Crux: Journal of Conceptual Writing, The Best American Experimental Writing, POETRY, and boundary2.