Book Review: All Heathens by Marianne Chan

A few months ago I agreed to review All Heathens in exchange for an honest review. A few months ago was a different time, not only in America but in the World. There was no global pandemic. We weren’t all working from home and praying that our friends and family members didn’t die on a daily basis.

There was no toilet paper shortage when I agreed to review this book and after reading the blurbs singing Marianne’s praises saying things about how the poems were “full of fire and laughter, airports, and the most unexpected dream-portals.” I couldn’t wait to get my grubby little paws on it.

Marianne Chan is a phenomenal writer. Her observances take the reader on an emotional eye-opening exploration of the highest order. From Momotaro in the Philippines, “And as I arise from the dreamy fluid- oh, the America, which preserves me.” to Counterargument That Goes All the Way Around, “making country out of family, family out of country,

All Heathens is the perfect read during a Pandemic.

Every day as things get worse and we hold our collective breaths I think of this book. I think about how Marianne Chan explores Colonialism. Which makes me think of travel which is a large part of how we got here in the first place.

As our elected officials seem to scramble and make deplorable decisions I think of the priest in Forgive Them for They Do Not Know What. Of him yelling at someone who made an accident. Of what it means to be human and how being human, now more than ever in my history, feels so absolutely fragile.

Like this collection I am full of hope for what will be and I’m so very grateful for the poetry in this collection which is helping me to get through this pandemic.

5 Stars and let’s all agree to be better humans.

All Heathens was released by Sarabande Books on March 24, 2020 and can be purchased from your favorite local literary store or from Amazon.

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