A Bestiary


A Bestiary


Essays | Lily Hoang | April 2016
156 pgs

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* Winner of the 2015 Essay Collection Competition, Selected by Wayne Koestenbaum *

* Finalist for PEN USA’s Literary Awards in Creative Nonfiction *

“In this genre-transcending work… Hoang relentlessly teases apart mythology, familial memory, and investigative essay into searing fragments, then weaves them into a dazzling swarm… This collection is both ravishing and ravished.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Praise for A Bestiary

“Rarely have I come across tenderness, venom, and fire held so intimately, so exquisitely, as in Lily Hoang’s A Bestiary. This book would be impressive enough as a collection of finely-forged fragments, but as it weaves itself into an even more impressive whole, my hat came off. Lily Hoang writes like she has nothing to lose and everything at stake.”
—Maggie Nelson

A Bestiary is a work of great subtlety, precision, in­telligence, daring, and emotive keenness. It seems completely contemporary (by which I mean that it is unlike anything I’ve read and that it makes me want to change my own writerly procedures). With head­long, reckless, improvisatory gestures, Lily Hoang prompts us to rethink what literature today can dare to aspire to. Her intellectually magnanimous book’s position on the threshold between recognizable ‘lit­erature’ and some other vanguard form of perfor­mance/utterance made me feel happy and stimulated and dizzy (in a rapturous way) while I was reading it.”
—Wayne Koestenbaum

“The most perfect use of fragmentation, myth, lan­guage, fairytale, and terrible beauty that I have ever seen in my life. I’m swooning. My faith in what writ­ing can be has been restored."
—Lidia Yuknavitch

Lily Hoang is the author of five books of prose, including Changing, recipient of a PEN Open Book Award, and A Bestiary, winner of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s 2015 Essay Collection Competition. With Joshua Marie Wilkinson, she edited the anthology The Force of What's Possible: Writers on Accessibility and the Avant-Garde. In Summer 2017, she was Mellon Scholar in Residence at Rhodes University in South Africa. She is Editor of Jaded Ibis Press and Executive Editor of HTML Giant.

Selected Reviews

Kenyon Review

Small Press Book Review

Publishers Weekly

3AM Magazine

Winter Tangerine

More Information

Interview with The Rumpus

Interview with Brazos Bookstore

Lily Hoang at UC San Diego