About this deal
It definitely pushes the boundaries and expectations and I can always appreciate a book that challenges our anticipations. In July 2014, Jonathan Scott wrote The Blessed Book of Beasts,  Eastern Christian Publications, featuring 101 animals from the various translations of the Bible, in keeping with the tradition of the bestiary found in the writings of the Saints, including Saint John Chrysostom.
Selected and with an introduction by the National Book Award Winner Nikki Finney, Bestiary questions what it is that makes us human, that makes us whole. The contributors’ encounters with these works take the form of poetry and essays, all moving freely between different disciplines and practices, humanistic and posthumanist critical dimensions, as well as different animals and art forms.Her mouth so close I could see the serrations of her teeth, sawing every sound in half so that I heard it twice: my name, my name. This quintessentially medieval beast serves as an introduction to the exhibition by underscoring how the bestiary played a vital role in establishing animal stories and their Christian connotations in the minds of audiences. As the two young lovers translate the grandmother's letters and the myths that surround them, Daughter must reckon with how deep these stories are buried within her, and what power is rising, violently, through her.
The cycle of ingestion and excretion leads to cannibalism, and the story of filial piety involving slicing a piece of your thigh to feed and cure your sick parent (割股, gēgǔ) is actual Chinese history. Even after half a century - and counting - as a professional zoologist, I encountered new and intriguing facts on every page, all conveyed in an easy, friendly style. BESTIARY is crafted at the scale of epic poetry: origin stories that feel at once gravely older than their years, yet viscerally contemporary. i love everything about chang’s short writing – its sensuousness and its twistiness and the way it marries grief and longing – and this book provides that in spades while still retaining the complexity/integrity of a novel that unfolds slowly.The (controversial) national flag of Taiwan is described as “blue sky, white sun, red ground everywhere” (青天白日滿地紅). I could have excerpted something from just about every page, so the many following examples I've chosen should be seen as restraint (lol). I picked this book up 7 or 8 times and didn’t feel compelled to read more than a couple of pages at a time before abandoning it for something else. There are scenes of racism (even within the family, as both the mother and the grandmother regret having married men from “the mainland”; with the grandmother, it's even unclear just how consensual her relationship was with this PTSD-afflicted former Chinese soldier), domestic violence, and crushing poverty. Because medieval Christians understood every element of the world as a manifestation of God, the book largely focused on each animal’s religious meaning.
Bestiary is crafted at the scale of epic poetry: origin stories that feel at once gravely older than their years, yet viscerally contemporary. Here is a book so wise; so gripping; so mythical and dangerous; so infused with surreal beauty, it burns to be read, and read again. This book needles and festers and grapples with 3 generations of Taiwanese storytelling through Chinese elements of myth and animism and symbolism and reincarnation. Every line of this sensuous, magical-realist marvel-about multiple generations of Taiwanese-American women in Arkansas whose lives are imbued with cultural and familial myth-is utterly alive .Lindberg pointed out that medieval bestiaries were rich in symbolism and allegory, so as to teach moral lessons and entertain, rather than to convey knowledge of the natural world. And more mysterious events follow: Holes in the backyard spit up letters penned by her grandmother; a visiting aunt arrives with snakes in her belly; a brother tests the possibility of flight. The Tayals believe that there once were two suns, and their warriors carried babies who grew up to be the men who tried to shoot down one sun. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice.