Barbie Chang

Copper Canyon. Nov. 2017. 96p. ISBN 9781556595165. pap. $16. POETRY
Having investigated the strains of office life in The Boss, a PEN Center award winner, Chang turns to another arena in which power plays out uncomfortably. Barbie Chang may strive for the artificial perfection of her namesake, but the Circle of mothers at school shut her out ("a potomac// hurt why unearth her high school her/ children unearth// everything"). At stake isn't just odd otherness, of course, but race; one woman "would never/ again say hello to that// Chang even one named Barbie." Meanwhile, Barbie contends with ailing parents as Chang's unpunctuated rush of language amplifies the tension.
VERDICT Perhaps not as sprightly as The Boss but still satisfying work from rising-star Chang, exploring the little explored.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month