Go Home!

In Go Home!, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan (Harmless Like You) gathers eminently talented Asian and Asian American artists to explore their notions of home, each distinct and deeply moving in their own way. For some, it is still real and accessible, although fraught with emotion, while for others, home as they remember it no longer exists. It can be a complicated web of yearnings or a devastatingly simple vision.

For Nepalese writer Muna Gurung it is her humble mother, Aama, and the soft coolness of her skin. In Taiwanese American writer Esmé Weijun Wang's essay, home is evoked longingly in a blessed bowl of gluten-free beef noodle soup. Meanwhile, the poet Jason Woo captures it in his touching recollection of a road trip with his father and their unexpected detour through Cooperstown, N.Y.

In these stories, essays and poems, home can take a dark turn, as in Alice Sola Kim's arresting, otherworldly glimpse into the lives of young, female Korean adoptees conjuring up the spirit of a universal "mother," all-knowing but also dangerously all-consuming. Humor surfaces in this wondrous collection; one of Syrian activist Mohja Kahf's poems is a hilarious recollection of her Middle Eastern Muslim grandmother performing ablution in the ladies' restroom at Sears. Other customers balk at the sight of this old woman washing her feet in the sink and expect the young Kahf to play referee in their "clash of civilizations."

Effectively dismantling all sorts of stereotypes, Buchanan's anthology gives voice to notions of identity, belonging and displacement that are much more vast, complex and textually rich than mere geography. --Shahina Piyarali, writer and reviewer

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