Reviews

These Hands Are Not Ours[…] is the third collection by a poet who, with each offering, is refining herself as a distinct voice of exile and dispossession in the New Zealand literary canon.” –Siobhan Harvey, Poetry New Zealand

Jill Chan’s new work continues to interrogate the sense of alienation felt by the individual in a global village…The juxtaposition of light and dark: waving in recognition versus waving off: the inside contrasted with the outside: Here are tensions which reverberate through the collection. And they are evoked in uncanny language, which is not afraid to risk exhausting the reader with complexity…Becoming Someone Who Isn’t positions the reader on the edge between pleasure and pain: These poems are a disconcerting textual metaphor for our uncertain times.” –Janet Charman, New Zealand Writer’s Ezine

“The melancholy that runs through this collection is like a fine mist drifting without settling…Chan’s poems are clearly acts of survival that transcend these sad places to contemplate the nature of existence….There is a strong sense of narrative lyricism; also a fine balance of levity and seriousness; resignation and hope….” –Patricia Prime, Takahe

“A book people could enjoy for many years. Each time I read the verses they seem fresh to me, full of new ideas. Highly recommended.” –Raewyn Alexander, Magazine

“Like the calligrapher’s brush, many of the poems leave an impression on the mind after you have finished reading them. They don’t give too much away. Some of them are quite enigmatic but full of delicate and beautiful touches.” –Robin Fry, New Zealand Poetry Society newsletter

“Many of these poems are not so much unemotional as intensely interested in everything that is going on. A scientist’s view? Partly. Just an outgoing mergence with humankind… This book is highly recommended as a really good read.” –Trevor Reeves, Southern Ocean Review

“With a profound inwardness and a language more suitable for the task, Chan takes the journey into a deeper level of human experience where she explores the fundamental truth and condition of our existence, where we do not really have a hand, as an ambiguous god may perhaps have it, in the making of ourselves.” –Edgar Y.B. Mao, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal

Advertisements