Book Reviews: The Book of Sainted Aunts, A/PART, Be Me by Lizzie Chan
The Book of Sainted Aunts
At one time in our life, we may have stumbled upon the majestical stories of the Greek Gods and Goddess. We started wondering if it’s simply a myth or could all of these beings actually exist once upon a time. What is this book about? It’s about you. Who you are, and who you could be should you choose to be one of the sainted aunts, or you are already one.
What I love about this book is how every single ‘sainted aunts’ could pass as one of those greek myths we once obsessed over. Every character of a sainted aunt was illustrated in a slightly sinister vibe, but every poem, letter-like story was told in such a graciously intimate manner, it makes me feel less alone as I can really relate to so many of the stories told from the lens of the sainted aunts. I personally love ‘The Minor Saint of Charming Ironies’, because every single thing about them is just well, ironic. The illustration somehow resembles the calmness of Buddha but with a Cardy B like attitude shown from her expression.
Think of this book as a must-have history book, if a history book was ever written fairly. Go gift this book to someone that you believe to be your confidante as every story will help us all better empathize with the ever so colorful world of Queerdom.
A/Part - An Anthology of Queer Southeast Asian Poetry in the Pandemic
Sometimes I can’t help but think that the whole LGBTQ movement is reserved only for the westerners. Most of the movies, poems or stories I have read were mostly written by wester white authors. The poems were mostly written in English, but there are a few translated poems that really set the tone of what we can continue doing to preserve south-east asian voices.
There were so many types of poems here, making it a friendly poetry book for all kinds of readers, some use a very traditional rhythm-meter system, and some really went all the way breaking every single poetic rule. But I guess that's the biggest point of this anthology, you really dont have to understand what poetry is, because all we need is the first hand testimonials of all of these poets in how they maintained sanity and more importantly, love in the midst of pandemic. I do hope that there will be Vol.2 of this anthology and to include more Queer female experiences, but this is definitely a book that I will sometimes go back to, every time I meet a new friend.
Be Me - LGBTQIA+ Stories of Belonging
If you remove the LGBTQIA label from this book, you’ll come to see that any LBGTQIA stories are just like any other life stories out there. We all struggled to find our place in this world and reading all of the stories here make me feel like maybe coming to terms with my sexuality won't be such a lonely thing to do after all. With subtle nuance like ‘-ah and the lo that really makes this book feel like home for a chinese queer girl like me who is desperate to find some other soul who knows how it feels to be a someone like me.