REVIEWS/INTERVIEWS


Cosmo"Four Books to Read This December"
Deep Vellum, "Will Evans Best of 2016"
Star Tribune (Josh Cook), review
Full Stop (Megan Marz),  review
Vol 1 BrooklynQ&A
BBC"Ten Books To Read in November"
Rumpus (Stephanie Trott), Q&A
BuzzFeed"5 Great Books to Read in December"
Entropy"Best of 2016: Best Fiction Books"
The Millions (Aaron Calvin), review
NPR, (Carmen Maria Machado), review
VICE (Blake Butler), "The Best 22 Books I Read In  2016"
The Harvard Crimson (Emily Zhao), review
Bustle"The 9 Best Fiction Books of November"
Nylon"12 Must-Read Books For November"
Lithub"Five Books Making News This Week: Feasts, Fish, and Front Lines"
The Last Magazine"The Last Gift Guide"​
diaCritics (Eric Nguyen), review
Maudlin House (Claire Hopple), "The Spotted and Exiled"
Angel City Review (John Venegas), review
Totally Dublinreview
The Boston Globe (Nina MacLaughlin), review
LA Times (Agatha Finch), Q&A
Ploughshares (Sue Rainford), review

Electric Lit (R.O.Kwon): "34 Books by Women of Colors to Read This Year"

Georgia Review (Lindsay Drager), review

Molarsmolars (Kevin Hyde), review

Blogherbonestructurereview
Wordpess Michelle Podsiedlik, review

Blackbird Journal (Emily Block), review

“A magical and fresh perspective on grief, this beautiful book is like nothing you've ever read before.” —Bustle

 

“It's an extreme feat of economy and vision that Vi Khi Nao was able to so robustly depict the aftermath of the death of one's child in such a fascinating and exciting set of sentences and logic as she has in Fish in Exile.” —Vice

“The language ranges from frank gallows humor to unexpectedly devastating, as if you’re at a party exchanging sarcastic witticisms with a stranger and then she suddenly hits you over the head with a brick.” —The Rejectionist

 

“[F]or all the weightiness of its subject matter, Fish in Exile is also surprisingly light on its feet: eccentric, absurd, and delightfully wry. This book wriggles with so much originality and life, it'll have you hooked from the very start.” —BuzzFeed Books Newsletter

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“Occupying a myriad of spaces and spanning genres and mediums, Nao’s work is a multi-faceted examination of the intersecting spaces of the religious, the corporeal, the industrial, and the pastoral.” —Stutzwrites

“Vi Khi Nao’s language isn’t made of words like everyone else’s. This can’t be true, so it must be that Vi Khi Nao has found a way to sensitize words into a phase change, into a state of semantic overflow. Nao’s sentences proceed via floral, clitoral, littoral surges. Fish in Exile is what leaks from the forms literary grief has taken, and what floats away, an amalgam of jellyfish and clouds. I love this book for its texture, its granular absurdities, its aqueous erotics, its garlic paper longing. I’ve never felt anything like it.” —Joanna Ruocco

 

“Vi Khi Nao’s Fish in Exile resonates with the unconscious fecundity of myth. A modern allegory of children who give birth to their mother, minnows that push a whale’s shopping cart around Walmart, and hospitals that exude an odor of insane asylums and Windex: Demeter, Callisto, Catholic, and Ethos live again in Nao’s world, and make new the most fundamental contradictions of life—separation, desire, bondage, freedom, loyalty, birth.” —Steve Tomasula

“A staggering tale of the death of a child, this novel is a poetic meditation on loss, the fluidity of boundaries, and feeling like a fish out of water.” —The Millions

 

“In this jagged and unforgettable work, Vi Khi Nao takes on a domestic story of losing one’s children and elevates it to Greek tragedy. Refusing sentimentality and realism, she shows how personal devastation can feel, to the sufferer, as powerful and enduring as myth.” —Viet Thanh Nguyen

 

“Smartly innovative, lushly poetic, compellingly told, and truly moving, Fish in Exile is a remarkable, sui generis novel. Vi Khi Nao is a strikingly talented writer whose artistic vision takes many literary forms. I ardently hope she does more long form fiction; she does it splendidly.” —Robert Olen Butler

 

“The result is a novel that forges a new vocabulary for the routine of grief, as well as the process of healing.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

 

“Nao, who was born in Vietnam, blends prose and poetry in her heart-wrenching novel about a couple grieving for their two dead children.” —BBC

 

“[Nao’s] sentences roll in and surround like a thick fog, dampening, chilling, becoming in certain moments, wholly iridescent.” —Boston Globe

 

“An off-kilter but effective tone poem on loss and recovery.” —Kirkus Reviews

 

“Told in alternating perspectives, fragments, reports, stage-play format, footnotes, reimagined Greek myths and, at one point, a drawing, Fish in Exile manipulates form as a means to exploring its themes thoroughly.” —Los Angeles Times

 

“This journey across the boundaries of form and genre, to write about what is un-write-aboutable, is a smart maneuver—it permits the reader to experience what has been written about over and over in a way that is fresh and absorbing in its difference.” —NPR

 

“...Nao’s depiction of grief doesn’t read artificial or overworked, but true, painful and occasionally completely confusing. Nao’s novel is not a conventional story, but an experience of what it is like to live with the pain of loss.” —The Daily Texan

 

 

 

“Vi Khi Nao seems the elusive love child of Anne Carson and Samuel Beckett, a preposterous connection that, somehow, in the end, makes a lot of sense.” —Star Tribune

 

“[Fish in Exile] highlights the patriarchy’s utter inability to fully understand or appreciate motherhood, the biological imperatives that form the foundation of parenthood, and the acceptance of the notion that grief can never really be extinguished, only embraced as part of the human experience.” —Angel City Review

 

“The impressions that last, however, will be entirely Nao’s own: all the wondrous forms she has revealed to us, the image of them luminescent, flourishing, in the seemingly dark and empty waters of grief.” —The Harvard Crimson

 

“Vi Khi Nao has created a meditation that splits open the numbing and disorienting problems of loss and mourning with language that breathes new life into an old suffering.” —The Millions

 

“Fish in Exile is a stunning novel that examines how easily we can fall apart after a disaster. . . . Indeed, the traditional narrative of loss disappears in the capable hands of Vi Khi Nao and we are left with a powerful and devastating story that is surprising in the best ways.” —diaCRITICS

 

“Fish in Exile melts traditional academic narrative with magic and folklore, creating an unforgettable story that reminds the reader there is no universally correct approach to dealing with grief.” —The Rumpus

“When you open the first pages of Fish in Exile, it is clear: you are conversing with a poet. . . . Reading this novel is like diving under the surface of the ocean, and sinking, deeper and deeper, until you are somehow deposited back on dry land.” —Heavy Feather Review

“Through mythic tangents and arrest, Nao pulls us through dismemberment, dissociation, and devotion with colossal sentences.” —The Fanzine

 

“Fish in Exile is that rare thing: a piece of art that transports you to an atmosphere you’ve never breathed. It is a sensitive exploration of the impossibility and, ultimately, the inevitability, of beginning to live again after shattering loss.” —Totally Dublin
 

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