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The Winged Seed: A Remembrance Paperback – April 15, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-1886913288 ISBN-10: 1886913285

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 205 pages
  • Publisher: Hungry Mind Press (April 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1886913285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886913288
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 5.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,798,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this lyrical memoir, Chinese-American poet Li-Young (Rose: The City in Which I Love You) recalls scenes of his childhood and youth in a kaleidoscope of dreams and nightmares with a factual recitation of events. He moves back and forth among prerevolutionary China, when his forbears were rich and privileged; the China of Mao Zedong, when his father was Mao's physician; Indonesia, where he and his family fled in the early 1950s after the father's release from the leper colony where he had been imprisoned for suspected disloyalty; and thence to Hong Kong and the U.S., where his father became a Presbyterian minister. Through the illogic and distortion of his dreams, Li-Young leads readers into the emotional landscape of his childhood, while objective events become clear in the narrative. In this evocative tale, politics plays a lesser role than family history and love in a world that was sad, frightening and hard for a child to understand. For the reader, however, Li-Young's portraits of the times are vividly illuminating.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

An autobiography at once intimate and sweeping, this work traces the path followed by poet Lee (Rose, BOA Editions, dist. by Consortium, 1986, and The City in Which I Love You, BOA Editions, dist. by Consortium, 1990) and his family. Born into a prominent Chinese family in residence in Jakarta, Lee was shaped by his scholarly father's imprisonment under the virulently anti-Chinese Sukarno; the family odyssey began when they escaped from Indonesia. His father eventually became a preacher in Hong Kong, with his final calling in a church in rust-belt Pennsylvania. Lee interweaves remembrances of incidents from his childhood with dreams, myths, his father's sermons (dimly remembered), and mundane recollections, such as the seeds in his father's coat pocket or the coconut oil in his Indonesian nanny's hair. To the son, the powerful father figure embodied cruelty, Christian kindness, inspiration, deprivation, devotion, and penetrating insight. In this lyrical yet stark rendering of a family of modern China, we see the inner development of the author from his childhood in the 1950s to the present and his adaptation to new world and new perceptions of reality. For general collections.?D.E. Perushek, Univ. of Tennessee Libs., Knoxville
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Shannon on March 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
Borne from nights of insomnia and kaleidascopic memories, The Winged Seed is a beautiful search for answers for the tumultous inner questions of the mind. Part poem, part waking dream, part remembrance, this haunting book will draw you in to the author's nights, where he is surrounded by the seeds of moments the past has left behind.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Elaine Jarvis on November 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
I wanted to love this book, I really did. And I forced myself to stick with it and finish it, even though I found it very difficult to do. It was only 205 pages... you would think I would have finished it in no time, but it took me weeks, mostly because I really wasn't enjoying it.

Li-Young Lee is a poet whose work I have respected and often loved. This memoir is, however, written as many of his poems are, moving back and forth between memory, dream, imagination and symbol so fluidly that it can be, at times, excruciatingly difficult to follow.

Still, high minded and poetic as I am, I was determined to love even this about the book. But, truth be told, I did not. Some passages were so unusual they just became nonsensical. Interspersed with indecipherable, dreamlike ramblings, were passages of more typical biographical storytelling, which were often wonderful and were the only parts that kept me hanging on, trying to make sense of this book. There were passages I truly loved. Clearly, the author has a story to tell. His life is very interesting and I wanted to know and understand what shaped him. The thrust of much of his writing seems to be trying to make sense of who he is in relation to who his father was, and the tragedies his family endured. This book is no different. But ultimately, for me, the book did not succeed. I really wish that the story could have been told in a more chronological, harmonious whole. A few poetic tangents could have been tolerated. However, it felt as if much of the book was written from some semi lucid state that left me lost and confused. It is rare for me to bother finishing a book and not give it a higher rating but I'm afraid it would be a rare person I would recommend this book to, and then with only with hesitation and qualifications.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By mahoney on December 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
the winged seed is probably the most poetic book i have ever read. li-young lee's quiet, condensed writing style is almost sedating. he is one of the most interesting people i've met and one of the best poets i've ever read. he is what many poets strive to be.
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By Laura M. Cospito on August 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love his work!
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