Mosquito and Ant (Paperback)
W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393320626, 104pp.
Publication Date: July 17, 2000
This breakthrough volume by award-winning poet Kimiko Hahn is her most rigorously "female" work to date as she reclaims the female body and reinvents an ancient Chinese correspondence.
Mosquito and Ant refers to the style in which nu shu--a nearly extinct script used by Chinese women to correspond with one another--is written. Here in this exciting and totally original book of poems the narrator corresponds with L. about her hidden passions, her relationship with her husband and adolescent daughters, lost loves, and erotic fantasies. Kimiko Hahn's collection takes shape as a series of wide-ranging correspondences that are in turn precocious and wise, angry and wistful. Borrowing from both Japanese and Chinese traditions, Hahn offers us an authentic and complex narrator struggling with the sorrows and pleasures of being a woman against the backdrop of her Japanese-American roots.