From our "Hong Kong Atlas" series of Hong Kong poets:
Poet, fiction writer and cultural critic Lok Fung writes in a style that is distinctly Hong Kongese and distinctly feminist, sometimes exploring the frictions and contradictions inherent in each of these signifiers: the political, cultural, and linguistic tensions between mainland China and Hong Kong, and the complexities of a feminism that allows for hair-straightening and doing a man’s laundry. This debut book in English translation is the third in the “Hong Kong Atlas” series — the first-ever series to showcase Hong Kong poets.
Lok Fung’s language is Hong Kong Cantonese, which already sets her apart from mainland poets, as do her topics. The 1997 handover of Hong Kong to China frequently figures in her work as a kind of personal marker, a way of denoting a symbolic before and after, while her insights about love, death, and self-identity are timeless. As a cultural critic, she sprinkles pop culture and political references through her poetry, which lends it a contemporary feel even as she rewrites a story of Adam and Eve.
Natalia S. H. Chan (penname: Lok Fung) holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies from the University of California, San Diego. Her research interests include cultural and film theory, gender and queer studies, popular culture, performance studies, cross-dressing and fashion, and urban cultural studies. She is also the guest anchor of Radio Hong Kong’s Performing Arts program. Her best-known collection, The Flying Coffin, received the 9th Biennial Award for Chinese Literature (Poetry) in 2007.
Eleanor Goodman is a writer and a translator from Chinese. Her translation of Something Crosses My Mind, by Wang Xiaoni, was shortlisted for the 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize and won the Lucien Stryk Asian Literature Prize. Her work has appeared in such publications as PN Review, The Quarterly Conversation, Fiction, Pathlight, Cha, The Guardian, Pleiades, Acumen, Perihelion, The Los Angeles Review and on The Best American Poetry website. She has received several fellowships and residencies in the US and abroad. She is a Research Associate at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard.
Days When I Hide My Corpse in a Cardboard Box, by Lok Fung (Natalia Chan)
Days When I Hide My Corpse in a Cardboard Box
Lok Fung (Natalia Chan)
Translated from Chinese by Eleanor Goodman
6 x 8
144 pages | Bilingual: Chinese/English
Paperback | ISBN 978-1-938890-18-5 (paper)
FINALIST for the 2019 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize!
"The choreography of Lok’s poetry is exquisite, navigating the spaces between bodies—in a dance, in public spaces, across the internet—with lyricism and honesty. At a time when many modern experiences can seem instant and fleeting, Lok’s poems invite us to pause and be present: to make time for living and loving in a city that ages, alongside its inhabitants, toward an uncertain future." — May Huang, Hong Kong Review of Books