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Victoria Chang’s prior books are Barbie Chang, The Boss, Salvinia Molesta, and Circle.  She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Fellowship, the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Lannan Residency Fellowship, and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship.  She lives in Los Angeles and is the program chair of Antioch’s low-residency MFA program.

Obit

Copper Canyon Press
2021 Shortlist
United States

Judges’ Citation

Victoria Chang’s Obit achieves a new form for grief and sorrow.

Victoria Chang’s Obit achieves a new form for grief and sorrow. Using the familiarity of the obituary, she repurposes the form with the truth that death makes clear, absurd, and funny. Death is not something that happens to someone else—it is yours too, up close and personal, and deeply particular. It is not just a name or person or relation that dies—it is a frontal lobe, language inside the phone, the voicemail, the view and experience, the language they made or didn’t make, their sounds too. The self that knew them. Privacy, friendships, gait, logic, optimism, ambition, tears, reason, a chair. Every bit of a lived life gets a spot. In this book ‘grief takes many / forms, as tears or pinwheels…’ ‘dying lasts forever / until it stops’ and ‘our sadness is plural, but grief is / singular.’