"Behind the seemingly simple exterior is the delicate tension between Buddhist patience and contemporary anxiety, between quiet sadness and unabashed joy, between the agrarian past and the urban present, between ancient song and modern free-verse lyric, between family and history, between self and nation . . . The best poems in this collection sound remarkably fresh and nuanced and surprisingly transcendent."
"A delightful aspect of My Da's poetryindeed, perhaps the hallmark of Vietnamese writingis the surprising way it summons human feeling from the ancient landscape, from river and field, from fruit and fragrant tree, culling a contemporary self from timeless images. In carrying this across into English, My Da could not have found better translators than Thuy Dinh and Martha Collins, a poet who has studied Vietnamese, carefully listening to its music."