Barbie Chang (Paperback)
Copper Canyon Press, 9781556595165, 96pp.
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
"With astringent understatement and wry economy, with nuance and intelligence and an enviable command of syntax and poetic line, Victoria Chang dissects the venerable practices of cultural piety and self-regard. She is a master of the thumbnail narrative. She can wield a dark eroticism. She is determined to tackle subject matter that is not readily subdued to the proportions of lyric. Her talent is conspicuous."--Linda Gregerson
"Chang's voice is equal parts searing, vulnerable, and terrified."--American Poets
In Barbie Chang, Victoria Chang explores racial prejudice, sexual privilege, and the disillusionment of love through a reimagining of Barbie--perfect in the cultural imagination yet repeatedly falling short as she pursues the American dream.
This energetic string of linked poems is full of wordplay, humor, and biting social commentary involving the quote-unquote speaker, Barbie Chang, a disillusioned Asian-American suburbanite. By turns woeful and passionate, playful and incisive, these poems reveal a voice insisting that "even silence is not silent."
From "Barbie Chang Lives":
Barbie Chang lives on Facebook has
a house on Facebook
street so she can erase herself Facebook
is a country with
no trees it allows her to believe people
love her don't
want to cover her Barbie Chang . . .
Victoria Chang is the author of three previous poetry books. In 2013, she won the PEN Center USA Literary Award and a California Book Award. Chang teaches poetry at Chapman University and lives in Southern California.