Last Words from Montmartre (New York Review Books Classics)

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Qiu Miaojin and the Existential Wonder of the Immigrant Narrative


For NPR, Ocean Vuong recommends four books that reshape the immigrant narrative, including Last Words from Montmarte by Qiu Miaojin, a series of letters that explores culture, language, and gender. “I’m truly inspired by Qiu Miaojin,” Vuong writes. “She’s a Taiwanese immigrant to Paris — and we often don’t think of the immigrant having, or the immigrant story having a sex life, a love life, a life of depression and deep existential angst. And Miaojin really positions in immigrant narrative in an existential wonder. And I think this is one of the most powerful testaments of rewriting or repositioning what immigration is on a global scale. And it positions the immigrant in the trajectory of the artist, because I think immigration demands a great amount of innovation and creativity. Nobody really survives the process of immigrating to a new country — to America, no less, which is so rich and complex — without being creative.”

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