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Dance Dance Revolution: Poems Hardcover – May 17, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This deeply political Barnard Women Poets Prize–winning second book is part poetic sequence, part science fiction: in a future city called the Desert—a Vegas-like manmade tourist trap—a character called the Guide shows another, the Historian, the sights. The Guide has survived the historical Kwangju uprising, a 1980 massacre of students and other prodemocracy protesters by the American-backed South Korean dictatorship. The Guide's speeches—all in verse—turn repeatedly to her own life story, detailed in a superbly invented dialect, based on English but incorporating Spanish and Jamaican patois: "I'mma double migrant," the Guide says. "Ceded from Koryo [Korea], "ceded from/ Merikka." The "Dance Dance Revolution" the Guide has seen—described, vaguely, late (perhaps too late) in the book, and named for, but supposedly unrelated to, the popular video game—thus becomes "Kwangju Replayed," another failed attempt to destroy an undemocratic capitalist system. The Historian's own reflective autobiography, presented in a terse, melodic prose, brings in other examples of global horrors (Sierra Leonean amputees) as it mirrors a reader's own unease. Hong's earlier treatment of Korean-American themes in Translating Mo'um attracted some attention, but nothing could have predicted this admittedly flawed but highly original work: hard to excerpt, hard at times to decode, it's even harder to forget. (May)
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“A polyglot explosion of unique individual and broader social concerns.” — The Believer
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (May 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393064840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393064841
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,197,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Dance Dance Revolution is a mythic story which takes the form of a poetic tale: here it took place in 1988 and the protagonist is a 'tour guide' of the Desert, a fictional resort city modeled after the world's finest hotels and capitals. Readers of epics like Dante's INFERNO will find this akin in structure and drama, offering up an invented language blending extinct English dialects with Latin, Spanish, Korean and other pidgins. No lightweight read, it's a pick for college-level collections specializing in modern literary poetic structure and is especially recommended for classroom assignment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A_Shecter on December 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
Cathy Park Hong is amazing, and Dance Dance Revolution is a beautiful example of her vision. Once you adjust to the hypnotic rhythms of her invented patois, you are given a vision of a future that is alternately funny, sad, and tragic. Also, loved the excerpts from her upcoming book in the Paris Review. One of my favorite writers.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Yes, readers. read the synopsis before you click buy. It is a poetry book. not a video game.
but it's a still rollicking fun and smart book, if you like invented vernacular and strange city landscapes
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