Hang My Tran - Feldman Prize in Fiction

I thought, frequently, of Rikki Ducornet’s The Monstrous and the Marvelous, that wild compendium of care, curse and frequent surprise, as I journeyed deep into the humming depths of “my dad is housed inside a whale”. Everywhere in this work — which echoes, for its poignant luminosity and joyousness, A House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, and, for its sharp, hard smartness, The Pink Institution by Selah Saterstrom — the denizens of the deep zoo of the imagination are caught and released, as language does backflips while twirling bright batons: “outside, a narwhal’s tooth erupts through soft lips where flesh-eating shrimps will cling to the pink to a mosaic hoop, mouthing, or else someone else’s mouth.” “my dad is housed inside a whale” feels like the start of an exciting voyage. It is also a destination: a small, strange wonder cabinet of a country.  I recommend a visit.