A Bestiary


A Bestiary


Lily Hoang

April 2016


156 pgs

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

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

Lily Hoang is the author of four books, including Changing, recipient of a PEN Open Books Award. She has two novels forthcoming: Old Cat Lady and The Book of Martha and she co-edited the anthology The Force of What’s Possible: Writers on Accessibility and the Avant-Garde. She teaches in the MFA program at New Mexico State University, where she is Asso­ciate Department Head. She serves as Prose Editor at Puerto del Sol and Non-Fiction Editor at Drunken Boat.

“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

More Information:

Essay Press

Lily Hoang Bio

Small Press Book Review

Publishers Weekly

3AM Magazine

Angel City Review

Full Stop


Winter Tangerine

Ploughshares blog

Heavy Feather Review



Late Night Library

Brazos Bookstore

The Conversant

Kenyon Review