The Family China
Winner of the 2013 Anne Green Award
Poems about the sense of belonging, about the tenuous ties we make across borders both international and internal.
In The Family China, her second book of poems, Ann Shin examines the decentering experiences of migration, loss and death, and the impulse to build anew. In five suites threaded through with footnote-like fragments that haunt and ambush the text like memories, the book accrues associations, building and transforming images from poem to poem, creating a layered and cohesive collection that asks daring questions about how we define ourselves.
These poems grapple rawly and musically with the profound messiness of human relations; their candour consoles and instructs. The quandaries in The Family China are deeply recognizable. Strung up between fragility and resilience, between naïve hope and domestic disillusionment, between an untenable nostalgia for the pastoral and a deep unease with the global, the voice of these poems is nevertheless determined to find some scrap of a song we can sing in common.
“… This short, dazzling collection of poems contains a universe—nothing short of North American life in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. Somehow it is all here, joyously offered up, birth, death, and everything in between, including the suspect investment schemes of the heart (and the bank), the modern war in relationships and families, the dark-light, pastoral dream of childhood, the carried-over costs of immigration and exile…” – Karen Connelly
“Ann Shin x-rays the ecstasy and the elegiac of the everyday… [her] poems are ravenous and nourishing.” —George Elliott Clarke
- Late Moon by Pamela Porter and The Family China by Ann Shin
Lindsay Diehl, The Goose, Volume 13, Issue 1
- New Canadian Poetry
Leah Horlick, Canadian Literature 222, Autumn 2014
- “The Family China” by Ann Shin “continues to stun readers with her innovation, attention to craft, and rendering of language.”
Claire Matthews, PRISM international, December 15, 2014
- Passion for Poetry and the Natural World
Lindsay Diehl, The Goose, Volume 13.1, September 2014
- Review: Cook/Book with Ann Shin
Cindy Zimmer, ATK magazine, May 28, 2014
About the Author
Raised on a farm in BC’s Fraser Valley, Ann Shin now lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters. An award-winning filmmaker, new media producer, and former radio producer, Ann recently directed and produced the documentary Defector: Escape from North Korea.