Dear Memory


Dear Memory

Letters on Writing, Silence, and Grief
“Groundbreaking . . . Chang's lyrical experiment memorably evokes an individual family's time capsule and an artist's timeless yearning to shape carbon dust into incandescent gem.”—NPR
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A 2022 Firecracker Award Finalist in Creative Nonfiction
An Electric Literature Favorite Nonfiction Book of 2021
A TIME Magazine Most Anticipated Book of Fall 2021

A Los Angeles Times Most Anticipated Book of Fall 2021
A Literary Hub Most Anticipated Book of 2021
A Kirkus Best Book of October 2021
An NPR Most Anticipated Book of October 2021

From poet Victoria Chang, a collection of literary letters and mementos on the art of remembering across generations.

For Victoria Chang, memory “isn’t something that blooms, but something that bleeds internally.” It is willed, summoned, and dragged to the surface. The remembrances in this collection of letters are founded in the fragments of stories her mother shared reluctantly, and the silences of her father, who first would not and then could not share more. They are whittled and sculpted from an archive of family relics: a marriage license, a letter, a visa petition, a photograph. And, just as often, they are built on the questions that can no longer be answered.

Dear Memory is not a transcription but a process of simultaneously shaping and being shaped, knowing that when a writer dips their pen into history, what emerges is poetry. In carefully crafted collages and missives on trauma, loss, and Americanness, Victoria Chang grasps on to a sense of self that grief threatens to dissipate.

In letters to family, past teachers, and fellow poets, as the imagination, Dear Memory offers a model for what it looks like to find ourselves in our histories.  


letters; grief; memory; family history; ancestry; epistolary; memoir; illustrated; collage
Publish Date: 
9.75 × 7.5 × 0.75 in
21.5 oz

Victoria Chang is the author of Dear Memory. Her poetry books include OBITBarbie ChangThe BossSalvinia Molesta, and Circle

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Blog Post

Milkweed Staff – 10/20/2021

Chang_Dear_Memory_web.png Screen_Shot_2021-10-20_at_11.33.45_AM.png Dear Memory: Letters on Writing, Silence, and Grief by Victoria Chang Dear Mother, I have so many questions...