Product Details

$17.00  $15.81
Copper Canyon Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.9 X 0.4 inches | 0.4 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Born in Detroit, Michigan to Taiwanese immigrants, Victoria Chang was educated at the University of Michigan, Harvard University, and Stanford Business School and holds an MFA in poetry from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. She is the author of five books of poetry, including Circle; Salvinia Molesta; and The Boss, which received a PEN Center USA Literary Award as well as a California Book Award. Her children's picture book, Is Mommy? was named a New York Times Notable Book. She lives in Southern California with her family and serves as the Program Chair of Antioch's Low-Residency MFA Program.


Chang's new collection explores her father's illness and her mother's death, treating mortality as a constantly shifting enigma. A serene acceptance of grief emerges from these poems. --The New York Times, 100 Notable Books of 2020

In [Obit], mortality is not a before and after state, but rather a constantly shifting enigma... --The New York Times Book Review

Exceptional... Chang's poems expand and contract to create surprising geometries of language, vividly capturing the grief they explore. --Publishers Weekly, starred review

Chang's sharp crystallizations of the pain and disorientation of death, and the way it reverberates through life, bring us to the raw heart of grief without the overblown language of classical elegy. These are poems that reproduce the logic and feeling of loss--a gift for anyone who has struggled to find words to express grief. --NPR

Chang has created a unique poetic construct... The feeling of hope is a theme throughout this solid collection, in variations Chang evokes with grace: 'Hope / is the wildest bird, the one that flies / so fast it will either disappear or burst / into flames.' Chang's poetry fine tunes that conflagration with acuity. --Booklist

[Obit] marshals all the resources of poetry against the relentless emotional cascade that's associated with death--and, very much to its credit, and as a testament to its success, the book has arrived at a kind of momentary stalemate against that cascade.--Rick Barot

Chang is consistently a poet who resurrects mediums, her work living within surprising spaces and forms, and both exposing and surpassing the possibilities for those structures... Chang has the rare poetic talent to follow the edges of dark comedy to find sentiment rather than irony. --The Millions

Here we have unmitigated heartbreak--but heartbreak mercifully free of the usual 'death etiquette': platitudes of 'after-lives' or 'better offs.' Thus, Victoria Chang has created something powerful and unconventional. These poems are zinger curveballs, and often come from the graveyard's left field. --Los Angeles Review of Books

These obits are fearless. They are also specific and intimate... The emotional power of Chang's Obits comes from the grace and honesty with which she turns this familiar form inside out to show us the private side of family, the knotting together of generations, the bewilderment of grief. --Ploughshares

As a lyrical case study of a person coming to accept the hard terms of such love, Obit offers both instruction and solace. --Porter House Review

Overall, readers who have lost parents to illness or death, have looked back on aspects of their lives to find them not what they seemed to be, will find their emotions here distilled in heartbreaking and quiet intensities. --International Examiner

Obit cracks open the silence around death and grief at a time when we all need it most. --1508 at The University of Arizona Poetry Center

Each poem is a masterwork of compression and compassion. --Kenyon Review

Obit reckons with death by swimming inside it... grief is tended to and given space. --The Rumpus

A long elegy for the poet's mother, Obit is the kind of poetry collection that creates a new genre. A reinvention of form? A symphony? A manifesto? All of the above and then some. It is heartbreaking and enthralling. It sings and instructs. It is a world all its own; one that changes ours. --Ilya Kaminsky, The Week

I still have yet to capture the full breadth of Obit. I suspect that this is the closest I will come: this book contains ninety-six poems about grief and loss, and every one of them is good. Every single one of them. --The Rupture

OBIT is intensely personal. It's also somehow universal. Reading Chang's grief on the page reflects the reader's grief back at them. In this way, there's comfort in sitting with another's grief. It's an unexpectedly healing collection.--Book Riot

What book could more accurately capture this year of grief than Victoria Chang's Obit? Chang reimagines the form of the newspaper obituary to express the way grief requires that we surrender everything to its erasures. One by one, the familiar things of the world vanish, and Chang writes their obits in prose poems of merciless beauty. Grieving, we die many times, an endless series of small deaths that sweep the world clean of everything that once seemed so solid. --Kenyon Review