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The Language We Were Never Taught to Speak
Guernica Editions, Spring 2021
70 pages
Trade Paperback
ISBN13: 9781771835879
ISBN10: 1771835877
$20.00 Canada, $17.95 US, £11.95 UK
The poems in The Language We Were Never Taught to Speak explore the many identities, both visible and invisible, that a body contains. With influences from pop culture, the Bible, tech, and Hong-Kongese history, these pieces reflect and reveal how the stories of immigrants in Canada hold both universal truths and singular distinctions. From boybands that show the way to become “the kind of girl a girl could love” to “rich flavours that are just a few generations of poverty away,” they invite the reader to meditate on spirituality, food, and the shapes love takes.
“ WHEN YUHUA HAMASAKI WENT HOME” // when a Chinese drag queen finally / sashays into the Drag Race workroom our ancestors clutch their jade pendants but / no one says anything because / our men have been painting their faces and singing in soprano since / the Six Dynasties // * when my grandma performed / in 粵劇 1 / she swung a sword as man / wept as woman / sang as both / Shakespeare isn't the only / dragulous form of theatre....

Books by Grace Lau

The Language We Were Never Taught to Speak