In the third fantastic release from the already massive-powered Fairy Tale Review Press (whose first two releases, PILOT by Johannes Goransson and THE CHANGELING by Joy Williams are both brain eating monsters of true glee), the brand new and clean white book object CHANGING by Lily Hoang has now hit and awaits your head.
At once a fairy tale, a fortune, and a translation told through the I Ching, Vietnamese-American author Lily Hoang’s CHANGING is a ghostly and miniature novel. Both mysterious and lucid at once, the book follows Little Girl down a century-old path into her family’s story. Changing is Little Girl’s fate, and in CHANGING she finds an unsettling, beautiful home. Like a topsy-turvy horoscope writer, Hoang weaves a modern novella into the classical form of the I Ching. In glassine sentences, fragmented and new, Jack and Jill fall down the hill over and over again in intricate and ancient patterns. Here is a wonder story for 21st century America. Here is a calligraphic patchwork of sadness.
“This is an impossible thing, a dream object”–Joyelle McSweeney, author of FLET.
That the book is based on the I-Ching plays no small part in the making of the book’s power: consisting of a series of form-shaped prose sections that mimic the structure of the holy book, CHANGING begins to take on this weird, recursive power. Lily Hoang has a way of roping the big mythic energy of tableau and mysticism down out of the nowhere and branding it with her own peculiarities of everyday upbringing. The result is kind of a maze of hypnotic language and cultural mishmash, which truly operates in resonance unlike any other book I can remember.