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Sue Hyon Bae's speakers exist in a state of displacement, expressing an ambivalent relationship to America, a love of its ideals and individuals as well as constant self-awareness of identity. The poems work on their own logic and adopt a deadpan tone on sexuality and the surreal. Through autobiography and persona, they question the validity of memories and the study of perfection casts utopia as dystopia. "Truce Country" is a dazzling debut collection.
"Sue Hyon Bae’s 'Truce Country' adjusts a vibrant lyric that, nevertheless, carries heavy messages of complaint with regard to an imaginary place that ultimately, of course, reminds the reader of the two Koreas. In my opinion, she seems possessed by something close to the matured genius of Franz Kafka ... What a wonderful book."
"These poems (sometimes skeptical or austere, sometimes intimate and funny) are always savvy and moving, unsettling in their surprise-connections. They ricochet and risk and reach. I love Bae’s elegant, demanding mind here as she tells us the truth — or makes it up: after all, she says, 'I am no longer capable of hearing my own strangeness.' Well, we hear her, and are marked by the fierce precision of her voice."