“Dark, playful, incisive and heartbreaking.” —San Diego Union-Tribune
Spanning thirty years of dazzling work—from luminous early love lyrics to often-anthologized Asian American identity anthems, from political and subversive hybrid forms to feminist manifestos—A Portrait of the Self as Nation is a selection from one of America’s most original and vital voices. Marilyn Chin’s passionate, polyphonic poetry is deeply engaged with the complexities of cultural assimilation, feminism, and the Asian American experience; she spins precise, beautiful metaphors as she illuminates hard-hitting truths.
"Bold and unapologetic.… Ranging from clear, radiant lyrics to experimental, subversive pieces." — Elizabeth Lund, Washington Post
"Chin delivers a wealth of riches: jokes and puns; poems as blues songs, mythic allegories, or letters; poems in translation and poems influenced by received forms." — Maya Phillips, Poets.org
"Throughout this collection, a great showcase of her oeuvre, Chin demonstrates her mastery of the English language and her fluency in others, her impressive visions of global history, her colloquial humor, and her commitment to speaking truth to power." — Kathryn Pratt Russell, American Book Review