Flèche

Mary Jean Chan

Debut collection from prizewinning Hong Kong poet, exploring queerness and post-colonialism. Read by the author.

Format
Audio book
ISBN
9780571357826
Date Published
02.07.2019
Delivery
All orders are sent via Royal Mail and are tracked: choose from standard or premium delivery.
Summary

POETRY BOOK SOCIETY RECOMMENDATION

Flèche (the French word for ‘arrow’) is an offensive technique commonly used in fencing, a sport of Mary Jean Chan’s young adult years, when she competed locally and internationally for her home city, Hong Kong. This cross-linguistic pun presents the queer, non-white body as both vulnerable (‘flesh’) and weaponised (‘flèche’), and evokes the difficulties of reconciling one’s need for safety with the desire to shed one’s protective armour in order to fully embrace the world.

Central to the collection is the figure of the poet’s mother, whose fragmented memories of political turmoil in twentieth-century China are sensitively threaded through the book in an eight-part poetic sequence, combined with recollections from Chan’s childhood. As complex themes of multilingualism, queerness, psychoanalysis and cultural history emerge, so too does a richly imagined personal, maternal and national biography. The result is a series of poems that feel urgent and true, dazzling and devastating by turns.

Mary JeanChan

Mary Jean Chan is the author of Flèche (Faber, 2019), which won the Costa Book Award for Poetry and was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize, the Jhalak Prize, the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Poetry Prize and a Lambda Literary Award. An Italian translation of Flèche by Giorgia Sensi was published…

Read More
Mary JeanChan
Mary-Jean-Chan.jpg