A review by typewriterdeluxe
The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father, by Kao Kalia Yang


I read and enjoyed Kao Kalia Yang's book [book:The Late Homecomer|20758939], but I think this project is an even better fit for her strengths as a storyteller. Who better to write her song poet father's story than Kao Kalia Yang with her poetic, powerful language and her deep knowledge of him? And who better to read this book aloud than the author on audiobook? (I listened to this book on CD and highly recommend it!)

The stories in this book are full of painful truths-- horrors of war, loneliness caused by separation and death, pain caused by parenting shortcomings and personal disappointment, the struggle to survive in poverty, Minnesota racism, and capitalist abuse of factory workers. The stories in this book are also full of beauty, resilience, growth, and hope. And love. The creation of this book is so obviously a labor of love.

I heard this book described in an interview on MPR as a kind of monument to a seemingly-ordinary man for whom no one has erected a monument and whose history was not widely known.

"'No one wants to read a book about a man like me when you can read books about men like Barack Obama'," Yang remembers him saying. But she persisted. "My stubborn heart wanted to prove him wrong."

Thank you to her stubborn heart.