How Festive the Ambulance (Paperback)

By Kim Fu

Nightwood Editions, 9780889713215, 96pp.

Publication Date: May 7, 2016

List Price: 18.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In this debut poetry collection by award-winning author Kim Fu, incantations, mythical creatures and extreme violence illuminate small scenes of domestic life and the banal tragedies of modern love and modern death.

A sharp edge of humour slices through Fu's poetry, drawing attention to the distance between contemporary existence and the basic facts of life: "In the classrooms of tomorrow, starved youth will be asked to imagine a culture that kept thin pamphlets of poetry pinned to a metal box full of food, who honoured their gods of plenty by describing ingredients in lush language."

Alternating between incisive wit and dark beauty, Fu brings the rich symbolism of fairy tales to bear on our image-obsessed age. From "The Unicorn Princess": "She applies gold spray paint to her horn each morning, / hoping to imitate the brass tusks / on the unicorns skewered to the carousel, / their brittle, painted smiles, harnesses / embedded in their backs and shellacked to high gloss." These poems are utterly of-the-moment, capturing the rage, irony and isolation of the era we live in.

About the Author

Kim Fu's novel For Today I Am a Boy (2014) was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and winner of the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. Fu's writing has been widely published and anthologized, including by The Atlantic, NPR, Maisonneuve and Best Canadian Essays. Fu is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with an MFA in Creative Writing. She lives in Seattle, WA.